Winter and whisky: a match made in heaven

Rye Whiskey made in Canada Lot 40 with iceI’ve never been a winter sport enthusiast. My idea of the best way to spend a snowy afternoon has always been to hang out on the sofa in a comfy sweater with a good book and a cup of tea.

Recently, though, I realized how important it is for my mental and physical health to keep moving, and to get outside during the winter months. I’ve committed to three work-out classes a week, but frankly, heading off to a gym on the weekend doesn’t make me feel joy. Nor is it that practical, as I spend more and more winter weekends at our cottage.

Turns out the Man of the House (MOTH) felt the same way, which is why he bought us both snowshoes for Christmas. Nothing too fancy – just an affordable model from Costco.

If I’m honest, I was unsure  – I thought snowshoes might be awkward to move in, or too tiring and – and – and — it’s cold out there, right?

After our first few forays, I am delighted to report that I have fallen in head-over-heels in love with snowshoeing.Rye Whiskey made in Canada Lot 40 with ice

It’s wonderful to be in the woods right now, whether it’s under a blazing blue winter sky, or a weak sun peaks through towering silhouettes of trees. When it begins to softly snow, the silence is utterly magical, until you break it with the rhythmic clack of the shoe.

It’s sufficient exercise that I feel as though I’ve had a work-out, but not enough to make me grimace with every move for 24 hours. And it’s something MOTH and I can do together. I’m a convert.

Co-incidentally, this comes at the same time a PR company sent me bottles of Rye and Scotch, leading me to discover that whisky makes a terrific winter drink. Worth noting that last summer I cut back on wine, a glass or two of which I would often have with dinner. That’s now down to a few times a month, and very rarely do I have more than one glass.

Lot No. 40 Cask Strength 11 Year Old  is a Rye Whisky made in Canada in small batches in a single copper pot still. It’s woody, slightly smoky, complex.

Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve Scotch whisky is finished in cognac casks for a smooth, fruity finish.

I prefer both on their own – over ice, occasionally with a dash of bitter. One is my limit (see above). For cocktail lovers, here are two recipes:

Winter’s Waltz

Glassware: Coupe

1 ½ oz Lot No. 40

1 oz Cream Sherry

1 oz dark ale

½ oz cinnamon syrup

1 whole egg

Garnish: grated nutmeg

Method: Dry shake the egg alone (or treat yourself to Vitamix’s Aer Disc for this) in a cocktail shaker until it emulsifies (7 – 8 seconds), then combine  rest of the ingredients and dry shake for 5 to 6 seconds. Add ice and shake hard until well blended and chilled  (5 to 6 seconds). Fine strain into chilled glass and serve with grated nutmeg on top.

The Old Reserve (my fave of the two)

Glassware: Rocks

2 oz Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve

½ oz ginger liqueur (Did not have any, so I used Cointreau. Also good even without liqueur.)

Bar spoon of honey

3 dashes orange bitters

Garnish: orange twist

Method: Stir, strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with orange twist.

PS: Super simple suggestion – hot ginger tea, laced with honey and lemon, and a splash of either the Lot 40 or the Glenlivet makes a very fine drink on a cold day.

Stayed tuned for an upcoming bevvy recipe in celebration of Robbie Burns Day.

Note to readers: I received bottles of both these from a PR company. Neither they or the brands reviewed this piece.


Vicky Sanderson

A self-confessed Opinion-ista, Vicky Sanderson has been writing and talking about décor, design and lifestyle issues for almost two decades, and has tested just about every home product known to humankind.

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