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Scotch with tikka, please

india Updated: Nov 13, 2009 21:37 IST
Naomi Canton

Single malts don’t just have to be the prelude to a meal — they can also be paired well with Indian cuisine, says David Mair, the brand ambassador for Balvenie single malt Scotch whisky. Mair was in town to hold pairing sessions of this Speyside malt with a four-course Indian meal prepared by chef Dieter Lengauer of Hyatt Regency Delhi.

“Single malts suit seafood. So you can drink them with spicy prawns, Chicken Tikka and Dal Makhani or even kulfi,” he reveals. “If western food, then it’s better if they are matched with simple food such as salmon steak, asparagus spears or beef steak, with not too many sauces, and also desserts like ice creams and chocolates,” he adds.

Mair quashes the traditional belief that the premium drink should be enjoyed only by itself, without pairing it with a meal. “Drink when you feel you need it. That could be before a meal, after a meal, or during the meal. It’s a social drink that you have with friends while sharing good conversation. But I know one person who says single malt is his best friend. It can be drunk neat at room temperature, on the rocks or with water,” says Mair.

A bit of advice from Mair — “Drink it the way you want to but if you add cola, you overpower its taste. Cocktails have been made using whisky but generally, one drinks it with water or on its own.” Mair sees potential in the Indian single malt market. “We want to be in countries where we think people will enjoy our products,” he says. So what’s next on their list? The company plans to start holding tasting sessions for the Indian public through single malt clubs.