Isle of Skye 3- whisky

There was so much beauty and awesomeness on the Isle of Skye, that I needed to break it up into multiple posts!  Welcome to the third and final installment of my adventures on the Isle of Skye!

 

If you missed the other parts, visit the pages below. They need not be read in order.

Isle of Skye Part 1- Pipe Band

 

Isle of Skye Part 2- Faeries

Over the Sea to Skye

 

waterfall on isle of skye scotland

 

The lack of trees in the highlands surprised me until I realized that at a certain altitude, most trees do not grow.  It’s not the shortage of carbon or energy, it’s the shortage of the number of warm days that can build cellular structure.  Some experts say that trees would be more likely to grow at high altitudes if they did not shade themselves.

 

Skye bridge

The Skye bridge.  Learn more about Skye by visiting the official page.

 

Of course, with all this talk of Skye, I have “The Skye Boat Song” (often called “over the sea to skye”) stuck in my head.  Were I home and had access to my instruments, I would have recorded a version for you all!  Since that is not the case, I shall provide you with this link (click here), lyrics to the chorus, and a short blurb about the tune:

Chorus:
 
Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that’s born to be King
Over the sea to Skye.
 
Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar,
Thunderclouds rend the air;
Baffled, our foes stand by the shore,
Follow they will not dare.

 

After the Jacobite rising was defeated, Bonnie Prince Charlie needed to escape and was stuck on Skye with all sorts of folk looking for him.  Flora MacDonald –the wise lass– disguised the prince as a serving maid and brought him from Skye to the mainland via a small boat.  The full story can be read on the Wikipedia page for Flora MacDonald.  This tune is often performed as an instrumental.

the grave of Flora MacDonald Isle of Skye Scotland

The grave of Flora MacDonald.

 

 Whisky

Of course, no trip to Scotland is complete without a whisky tasting!

The Scots write whisky as such, as do the Canadians and Japanese.  It’s the Irish and Americans that add the “e” in whiskey.  Visit this page (click here) to become a whisky/whiskey expert!

 

talisker whisky isle of skye distillery

 

I personally am not a huge fan of the smoky, peaty flavo(u)r that a number of people love about scotch whisky.  However, I still adore tasting things (and sharing tastings)!  So much so, that I purchased a scotch tasting trio from the Talisker Distillery.

  • Have you ever tried Talisker? Do you have a favorite scotch whisky you would like to share?
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7 things you should drink INSTEAD OF green beer

Green beer is generally food coloring poured into the cheapest beer the pub has on tap. Bad idea guys!! Because quite honestly, green beer is [expletive deleted]! Why would you even consider drinking that [expletive deleted] when there are soooo many other fantastic Irish choices??!!?  Friends don’t let friends drink green beer.

 

If you’re not sure what to drink, here is some inspiration for you:

 

1. Guinness

guinness tap at academy st james's gate

Guinness is an Irish staple.  It’s a tasty, dark pint of goodness.  (and if you haven’t yet, click here to learn 14 Guinness facts!)

There are some fantastic Irish stouts made by other brewers too!  Check out O’Hara’s, Murphy’s, and Beamish to start.

Dark and rich, stouts may not be the best choice for everyone. No worries- read on to find other fantastic Irish drinks.

 

2. Jameson

 

jameson barrel

I personally find Jameson to be quite lovely.  I prefer the smooth taste of Jameson (and most Irish whiskeys) to the peat of Scotch whisky or the smoke of American Whiskey/Bourbon.

But let’s not just limit it to Jameson.  There are plenty of other awesome Irish whiskeys out there to try: Bushmills, Tullamore Dew, and Teeling – just to name a few.

 

Though it’s fantastic neat, on the rocks, or with just a splash of water, feel free to try some of these whiskey cocktails to spice things up:

from ezrapoundcake.com and buzzfeed.com

 

Whiskey Ginger= whiskey + ginger (served with lime)

Irish redhead= whiskey + grenadine + Sprite + lemon and lime juice.

Manhattan= whiskey + sweet vermouth + bitters.

Or get other ideas here

 

 

3. Cider

Magners Cider

photo from telegraph.co.uk

Ireland has a number of fantastic ciders too! Magners, Bulmers, and Kelly’s are the most famous, but there are a number of small/craft ciders to try as well (such as Stonewell)!

This is a great idea if you’re not a beer drinker or if you need a gluten-free option, as most ciders are sans-gluten!

 

 

4. Any other awesome Irish beer

irish craft beer festival

irishfest.ie

I went to craft beer festival recently in Dublin (by recently, I mean a few days ago). It was pretty awesome.

If you have not yet tried the app Untappd, and you’re a craft beer guru, I recommend it! It’s like facebook for beer!  You can even friend me by searching for museinitiative :)

Keep on the lookout for a number of fantastic beers made my smaller Irish breweries such as Trouble Brewing, Eight Degrees, Metalman, and Galway Hooker.

 

 

5. Shamrock Shake!

shamrock shake recipe alcoholic

Alcoholic Shamrock Shake image from http://www.irishcentral.com/

Not just for kids anymore (was it ever?  I think not)!  Visit this page (click here) to learn how to make your own alcoholic shamrock shake!

 

 

6. Irish Coffee

nationalirishcoffeeday.com

The original recipe as per Joseph Sheridan:

Cream as rich as an Irish brogue;
coffee as strong as a friendly hand;
sugar sweet as the tongue of a rogue;
and whiskey smooth as the wit of the land.

Visit this page to learn more about Irish coffee and how to make it!

 

If it seems too complicated for you, you can always make the “poor man’s Irish coffee” (which is not like Irish coffee really- but it’s still yummy) by adding some Bailey’s Irish cream to your coffee.

 

 

7. Irish Car Bomb

irish car bombs because bartenders love when you puke on them

idowhatiwantblog.com

 

These are definitely not my favorite, but some people swear by them…. so here’s to you:

Traditional Irish Car Bomb

  • 3/4 pint Guinness stout
  • 1/2 shot Bailey’s Irish cream
  • 1/2 shot Jameson Irish whiskey

Directions:
Add the Bailey’s and Jameson to a shot glass, layering the Bailey’s on the bottom. Pour the Guinness into a pint glass or beer mug 3/4 of the way full and let settle. Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and chug. If you don’t drink it fast enough it will curdle and increasingly taste worse.

 

 

Or- Any drink whatsoever…

Seriously guys, it’s St. Paddy’s day- go drink what you like (even if it doesn’t include alcohol)! Gather up a fantastic group of mates (friends), wear something green, find the best Irish pub you have around, and just enjoy the festivities.  Have fun and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

 

I know I missed posting this prior to the weekend; I apologize and I hope you didn’t indulge too much in the green beer.

 

Slainté!

(“cheers” in Irish.  If you want to learn some more Irish phrases or get some ideas for fun things to do for your workplace on St. Paddy’s Day, click here!)

 

  • Do you have a favorite Irish drink or a St. Paddy’s day drink tradition that you would like to share?
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