single malt

Single Malt Mum by Rebecca Johnstone

I’m calling myself the SINGLE MALT MUM after buying my first bottle of whisky - ever.

Controversial yes, but bear with me.

I don’t drink a lot of alcohol and therefore don’t feel the need to choose January as a month of abstinence (save from maybe cheese. I’ve agreed to do that and already failed due to the cheesy sauce hiding inside a fish pie.)

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve consumed alcohol in the last 2 years, what with being pregnant, breastfeeding, and being A Responsible Adult In Charge Of A Baby.

It hasn’t been hard to maintain at all. I haven’t minded and rarely think about alcohol because it doesn’t really agree with me.

Wine gets me drunk too quickly, Champagne and Prosecco go straight to my head.

There was an incident a few years back involving Jager-bombs at a family wedding - never again. And I don’t drink the usual mixers such as cola or lemonade due to the sugar/carbonation. Which leaves me pretty much with water. Or beer.

Beer has been my greatest love affair in the last decade or so. Craft beers. Local beers. Dark beers. Blonde biers. Raspberry bier. Even non-alcoholic beers.

Until earlier this year when I shared a dram of Glenlivet (18 year old) with my Dad. My Dad lives on the Scottish Malt Whisky trail in the highlands. I’ve partially grown up there myself. It felt like time. And I enjoyed it.

A nice warm glow without feeling drunk. Sipping pure liquid gold rather than volumes of sugary nonsense. It’s respectable and adult and enjoyable and sophisticated. No nonsense. Good for the circulation. Not bad for the digestion.

I happily repeated the process over New Year, safe in the knowledge that I was suitably relaxed yet never drunk or unable to react in an emergency (in the company of other responsible adults and hopeful of there not being an emergency, obviously).

So while doing the first Big Shop of the year after arriving home to a fridge devoid of anything edible save for cream, dried herbs and lemons, I casually cruised the spirit aisle in my local Morrisons.

Initially I felt like a bit a of fraud, a fool, a pretender. Like I shouldn’t be there because the goods on offer were not for me and I didn’t know what I was doing. But I lingered, searching for a good offer and a nice design on the box. I went for an Ardmore.

Creamy vanilla spice gives way to more overt smoky charcoal notes, especially with the addition of water. Smoke doesn’t dominate and is balanced by the sweet honey and spice flavours.

Sold. The last 2 weekends I’ve had one or two or three, with just a pinch of water.

I’ve gone to bed feeling mellow and warm, with tingly toes. Not drunk or dehydrated. And no hangovers. Perfect.

Hopefully this doesn’t make me A Bad Mother, because I’ve heard the toddler years are the worst…