What better way to cheer on St. Patrick's Day than with whiskey, Ireland's unofficial official drink?
Specifically, Irish Whiskey Truffle, which is a deep dark chocolate truffle made with Bushmills Irish Whiskey from Ireland’s oldest distillery (licensed in 1608, whoa).
Whiskey (or whisky, more on that in a bit!) is crafted from a mash of malted grains like barley, corn or wheat. The amount of each grain used, where the whiskey is distilled, and how the whiskey is aged is what creates different types like Irish whiskey, Scottish whisky, bourbon, scotch and moonshine.
‘Whiskey’ comes from the Gaelic phrase uisce betha, meaning ‘water of life’, a translation of the Latin aqua vitae, which was used to describe spirits (not the spooky kind, the drinking kind!).
Whiskey with an ‘e’ refers to the Irish or American liquors. Whisky without the ‘e’ refers to liquors distilled in Scotland, Canada and Japan. The plural of whiskey is whiskeys while the plural of whisky is whiskies. Still with us? An easy way to remember which is which is by keeping in mind that there's a 'e' in Ireland and America but there's no 'e' in Scotland, Canada or Japan.
And while you can buy whisk(e)y made in the USA, Canada or Japan, it's the Scots and Irish who are best known for it. Whisk(e)y was most certainly invented in either Scotland or Ireland sometime during the Middle Ages (and we hear they're still 'discussing' who should claim the credit for inventing it).
The process of making whiskey (or whisky) is as individual as the maker. It all starts with the grain, generally barley, steeped in water and then left to germinate. During this process, starch in the grain is converted into sugar by special enzymes. After about 6-7 days of germination, the grain (now called malt) is dried to halt the germination process.
The dried malt is ground into grist, mixed with hot water, then yeast is added to begin the fermentation process.
Lastly, the mixture is distilled at least twice, and then aged in wooden casks, traditionally oak casks.
However, the Bushmills Irish Whiskey we chose specifically for our Irish Whiskey Truffle is aged in former Oloroso (a type of sherry) casks, which gives the whiskey rich, fruity notes that are the ideal complement to our rich dark chocolate.
So grab a few Irish Whiskey Truffles and get ready to cheers, or as the Irish say, Sláinte (pronounced slawn-cha, meaning 'health').