At first glance, this match looks like something straight out of the molecular gastronomy food-and-wine pairing handbook - risotto and whisky? Together? Really? Think about it for a minute or two, though, and you realise that it makes a lot of sense: a wee dram of fine malt is often a heart-warming accompaniment to a bowl of hearty fish soup on a chilly Scottish evening - why not add an Italian twist to the combination? Also, whisky tends to lend a strong flavour note to dishes when used (as here) at the last moment in the pan juices - so it seems sensible to match like with like. Remember that top-shelf Scotch is best enjoyed with just a splash of the purest water you can get your hands on to release the spirit's complex aromas. - Max Allen
A hearty scallop, Balmain bug and fennel risotto comes alive with a wee dram of the very finest Scotch whisky.