Now is the time to plan your traditional Christmas dinner and all the many courses that it can entail. Not to mention the exuberant amount of Champagne, white wine, red wine, port, and possibly even a wee sherry to help get you through. May I put forward a time and

money-saving alternative idea? Why not serve whisky with every course? I’m not suggesting that you have to finish the bottle but a small dram with each course and you can save the rest for Boxing Day or even Hogmanay.

Whisky is incredibly food friendly if used the right way. Just as it is with wine, the right match can be divine. So this year, put down your corkscrew for one day and try something different. For me, the classic prawn cocktail is the only way to start the meal. I add a bit of crayfish and lobster to super-charge the dish. Many coastal whiskies work well with seafood but, for this course, I would serve the Oban 14 year-old (Royal Mile Whiskies, £51.95). Many have compared the gentle saltiness of the Oban to that of Manzanilla (a very dry sherry from Sanlucar) and rightly so. With a honeyed orange note on top, there is a deep salty character and just a touch of peat. Perfect.

With the main course, everyone has a different idea of the perfect serve. For some it has to be turkey, some prefer beef and for others it’s a vegetarian option. All of these dishes have one thing in common and that’s a giant mix of different flavours. Selecting a wine for this can be difficult and that’s why I recommend one of my whiskies of the year for this course. The Glengoyne Cask Strength Batch No.7 (Inverarity One to One £48.99) is put together from a selection of bourbon and sherry casks (and bottled at cask strength) for a rich, lifted whisky with gentle spices, notes of cinnamon and a very long finish. Also, if you think the 59.8abv is too high, this whisky gets even better with just a small dash of water.

For dessert, and especially with Christmas pudding, there is only one option. The Aberlour A’Bunadh (widely available) is a sherry bomb of a whisky that is full of dried fruits and sweet plum notes. It both smells and tastes of Christmas. But be warned, it’s over 61abv…so, if you use it soak the pudding and then set it alight, use a long, long match and have a fire extinguisher at your side.