Actor James Marsden, best known for his roles in the Notebook and Superman Returns, was in the capital city recently as a part of Diageo’s International Scotch Day celebrations. In an exclusive interview, Marsden revealed his scotch preferences, favourite cocktails, and more.
Here are some excerpts from the interview.
When did you start drinking scotch?
I started drinking scotch when it became more about quality than quantity – about sipping drinks rather than downing them, and just learning about the flavour profiles. I think that might have been in my mid-20s when I started enjoying it and understanding that scotch isn’t just the drink that your grandfather would sit by the fire and sip on. It’s for everyone; it can be mixed and can be enjoyed in a T-shirt and a pair of shorts, sitting on a couch.
How do you like to drink your scotch?
I like it in all different ways if it’s a good scotch, but my favourite would have to be in a glass with just a little bit of water – room temperature, or a little cold if it’s hot outside. That helps to just open it up a little bit, much like how wine is decanted. I like keeping it simple.
What do you love most about scotch?
I love the timelessness of it. There are drinks that are trendy, and they taste good too, but scotch is timeless. I also appreciate its versatility. Wine, for instance, can only be consumed as is, but scotch can be had in so many different ways. The newer generation isn’t afraid of adding mixers and coming up with scotch-based cocktails.
How often do you enjoy a drink?
I’m not a regular drinker. Rather, I try to make it an occasion when I have a scotch – like a dinner with friends, or a nightcap once in a while.
What is your favourite cocktail that uses scotch?
It would have to be an Old Fashioned made with Johnnie Walker Black, because you cannot go wrong with it. I can make a decent one myself too.
What are your favourite scotch whiskies?
The great thing about scotch is that there are so many types that come from different regions. There are single malts, which can be very direct and specific. Then there are well-rounded blends by Johnnie Walker. All of them go well in mixed drinks. But I tend to often find myself with a glass of Singleton or a Johnnie Walker Black, either with an ice cube or a little bit of water.
What is your association with the #LoveScotch campaign, which celebrates International Scotch Day?
I knew about the campaign and thought it would be fun to align with. I’ve learnt so much more about scotch – it’s the world’s favourite whisky, and it outsells every other whisky by a crazy margin. I think the biggest revelation for me was that it’s not just for an older audience – even the younger generation now enjoys it, and doesn’t hesitate to have it with mixers. I like to celebrate the fine craftsmanship, people who put passion into something they make, and that’s what you get with these whiskies. We were in Scotland recently, and met people who work at the distillery. They consider the whisky they make a work of art, and you can taste the passion that goes into it. So yes, I’m a fan of anything – be it watches or a good pair of shoes even – that is crafted with passion.
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Interviewed by Shweta Mehta Sen
Image courtesy: Press handout, philstar.com