I have a great deal of admiration for those skilled few who are capable of knowing every wine’s characteristics and what combination of variables lead to the perfect wine choice. And yet, I also pay such skilled folk little attention as I am, like so many others, a beer and spirits man. I have a love for them and have amassed an extensive collection of spirits from around the world, with the integral part of my collection being whiskeys. Many an evening is spent with a thin lipped glass filled with a measure of the beautiful drink, accompanied by a modicum of ice.
Just pouring an amount into a cup and hurriedly drinking it down like a 15 year old raiding his parent’s liquor cabinet will not do (anymore). Drinking whiskey is something to be savoured and done properly. The pursuit of the perfect whiskey is one thing, as is being able to prepare and drink it properly. There is a long and tawdry list of effective and ineffective gadgets, glasses and techniques for getting it right. I imagine by now, most people are familiar with the stone cubes used to cool the drink without watering it down, and the ice ball is something slowly edging its way onto the scene. However, I have been trying something different, and it certainly makes a change to the drink: a Vinturi Spirit Aerator.
Based on its parent wine aerator, the concept is essentially the same – its about mixing air with your drink as its poured. Sounds simple enough, but for those that understand wine, its become an essential tool in pouring the finer stuff, doing a great job in a short time. Similarly, getting air into your whiskey is essential for unlocking its flavours – of course, swirling the glass for a length of time will do this too, but its so easy to miss it out. Here, a measure is poured into the receptacle at the head of the apparatus, and once measured, its held over your glass, the button pushed in, and hey-presto, you have a fully aerated drink!
What I find ingenious is the button mechanism, which is done protected in plastic and using magnets, to prevent any metal from touching the drink. This keeps it hygienic and is a wonderfully clever way of achieving this as well as allowing for you to pour accurate measurements.
Anyway, is it actually any good is probably what you’re asking and is it worthwhile getting? Its a hard call to make. I’ve taken it out with me to a few places to give it a real testing with different people and I’ve tried it with more than just whiskey. In fact, the Vinturi recommend trying it with a whole host of liquids:
I did my damndest to try it with all of the above. Of course, to try it properly means two shots of each – so that’s around 24 shots minimum! I will try and find time in the future to give it a go with everything, but safe to say I ticked off the vodka, the whiskey, scotch, tequila, port, gin and brandy.
As the liquid pours through the contraption you hear the sound of the air bubbling into it, and when you taste it, it does unequivocally make a difference! Its hard to describe for each what that exactly is, but it made each one smoother and easier to drink (I’m not the biggest tequila fan). Of the whiskies I tried, it brought out a lot more of the subtle flavours you may only get a hint of when poured normally, and gave a more enduring and aromatic aftertaste. For the vodka, it made the nice stuff nicer and the rubbish stuff nice – all of a sudden Glen’s vodka is passable as a half decent drink! One criticism that I do have is the necessity of constant rinsing – primarily if you are having numerous different types of spirit, but also because some spirits can leave a sticky residue if not tended to quickly enough. This lends itself poorly to pouring classy drinks round the table.
I would definitely recommend this to people who know their stuff. Whether its whiskies or tequillas, brandies or rums, whatever your potion or poison, this will make it different and better in a whole new way you probably never thought about. Of course, if you don’t know your drink, its probably a good money saver if you buy it to use with rubbish liquor and pass it off as the half decent stuff!
The Vinturi Spirit Aerator is a breath of fresh air to your tried and tested tipple (all puns intended). You can gab it now on the Vinturi website for around £40.
Its also worth noting that the same company distributing these are importing the ever popular Corkcicle – something we plan on featuring when the weather permits it!
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