Take You're Best Shot, Then Take a Taxi

Irish pub hosts six-course whiskey pairing dinner

Wine pairings -- matching up food with the perfect zin, cab or chardonnay, for example -- are pretty common on the menu. But what do you eat with a shot of Lagavulin or Singleton or a Bushmills? Whiskey pairings are anything but common.

Hooleys Irish Pub & Grill in La Mesa called on the Master of Whiskey, Edward Adams, whose decades of study includes not only the history of the ancient spirit but how it's distilled and aged and paired up with the right dish. A six-course whiskey-pairing dinner is offered at the pub June 23 at 7 p.m. Admission is $50.

The first course is a Bulleit bourbon whiskey chicken sate, followed by a second-course salad with a Bushmills 10-year vinaigrette.

It's a three-hour program that's educational as well as savory, said Brad Henstock, bar manager. It's not easy to match whiskeys with the right dish, but Henstock said that Chef Pete Harbison of Detroit has studied it for years in Scotland.

The dinner has already attracted a wide mix of people, added Henstock.

"There are executives, construction workers, ages 21 and much older," he said.

If you think whiskey is a manly man's drink, think again. Among the diners: two 75-year-old women who can't wait to feast on the menu.

With every course comes one shot of whiskey, in addition to what's cooked into each dish. That's a minimum of six shots. That's quite a meal.

As Henstock says: "Bring a taxi."

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