(A memorable line from one of my favorite Steely Dan songs on the Aja album.)
Or all day long, if you are in Scotland!
On a truly Scottish morning, grey and damp, we got an early start to walk about the city and plan the day. Walking past Edinburgh Castle shrouded in misty, passing through a market, and from Old Town to New Town. Seeing this beautiful city on foot is really the best way to go.
After a stroll, it was 11AM and time to head off to the Scotch Whiskey Experience for a lesson on scotch whisky making and a little tasting.
What? Scotch Whisky at 11am? Are you crazy?
Maybe only a little crazy, but it’s actually best to do a tasting earlier in the day before one’s pallet is tainted. And besides, what could be more Scottish?!
This tour included an entertaining little ride in a barrel to discover the ingredients and techniques used to make scotch whisky as well as a lesson on the different scotch making regions in Scotland, each with different flavors and specialties.
After the learning came the tasting! We got a review of the old swirl, sniff, and sip techniques while admiring one of the worlds largest collections of unopened scotch.
After this, if you possessed the “Golden Ticket” you had the opportunity to sit in the cafe and explore a tasting flight of 4 additional different Scotch samples from the different regions discussed on the tour. I discovered Highland Scotch is for me and anything to smoky makes me cough, but there was no complaining involved, how often will this get to happen!
Now personally, I’ve always been a gin girl myself… but there is something very pleasing about a smoky scotch to warm you on a chilly evening. I was also in luck, as there was plenty of gin to be found in Scotland! My favorite haunt? Nicholson’s Bar– basically a whole section of the menu dedicated to “build your own Gin & Tonic” and I was in heaven.
My favorite of the evening? Williams Aged Sloe & Mulberry Gin with Lemon Tonic.
If I could get this in the states, I would fill my apartment with it (sadly they don’t bill or ship outside of the UK). Basically a little sweet and more tart then other gins I’ve had. Very different from many gins in that the juniper flavor was very low key. The Lemon Tonic added a lot, and who knew there were so many different options for tonic!
So yes, on this trip there was a lot of (good) drinking. Instant coffee all morning- don’t get me started on this!- and Spirits all night.
On our walking adventures we did find a cute local coffee shop, aka not Starbucks, and had a peaceful sit down to sip lattes and watch the people go by. I’ve found that everywhere I go I’m looking for a local coffee place to perch relax, it really helps me feel like I’m actually living in a place and in that moment, a member of the local community. It’s like a tradition. My local corner in Upper Manhattan, Anomali Coffee in Ubud, Bali and now Procafination in Edinburgh! Really no better place to get a feel for a city, while taking care of my never ending caffeine need 😉
Have you had the opportunity to drink whiskey in Scotland? What fun drinks have you found on your globe trekking adventures? Share them in the comments below!