Generally, when you think of whisky you think of Scotland, remote distilleries and images of older gentlemen sipping whisky on the rocks invariably spring to mind. However, thanks to the rise in popularity in cocktails, whisky has enjoyed a renaissance and is now being enjoyed by a wide age range of people throughout the globe.
Throughout this blog post I would like to explore my favourite whisky cocktails using whiskies from around the world.
Japan – Rising Sun Cocktail
This fantastic cocktail was the brainchild of Kiernan Walsh, who works at Solstice, a cocktail bar in San Francisco. Below I have listed the ingredients and described how it should be made.
• 1 oz. of Japanese single malt whisky, for this recipe I recommend Suntory Yamazaki single malt
• 1 oz. Vya extra dry vermouth
• 1 part pinoit noir juice
• Orange bitters
One of the great things about this cocktail is its simplicity. To make it simply combine the first three ingredients in a mixing glass before adding orange bitters. The add ice to the mixing glass and give it a good shake for 30 seconds. Once shaken, strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass and serve. You are sure to love the combination of the single malt whisky with the vermouth and orange bitters.
Ireland – The Irish Cider
Created by the experts at Marble Lane Bar and Steakhouse, this cocktail using Irish whisky is the perfect alternative to green beer for St. Patricks Day. To make this delicious cocktail you will need the following ingredients;
• 1 ½ oz. Irish Whisky, I like to use Jameson
• ¾ oz. rum
• ½ oz. apple cider
• ½ oz. lemon juice
• ½ oz. agave syrup
• A pinch of ground cinnamon
Again this whisky cocktail is incredibly simple and easy to make. Firstly, mix the apple cider, agave syrup and fresh lemon juice together. Then simmer it on a medium heat until it reduces by a quarter. The next step is to let the mixture cool before adding all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake energetically.
America – The Revolver
For a truly unique whisky inspired cocktail give this bourbon inspired cocktail a try. Originally, developed by Jon Santer, a San Francisco bartender, this cocktail is the perfect drink for Autumn.
• 2 oz. bourbon, for this recipe I recommend a rye heavy bourbon, for example Bulleit of Buffalo Trace
• ½ ounce of coffee liqueur
• A couple dashes of orange bitters
• Orange zest strip for garnish
Carrying on the theme of being amazingly simple to prepare, to make this cocktail merely add the bourbon, coffee liqueur and orange bitters to a mixing glass filled with ice. This time there is no need for shaking and the mixture only requires a good stir until chilled before being strained into a chilled cocktail glass. To finish this drink off, twist the orange peel to extract the oils and then use a garnish and serve.
Scotland – The Balvenie Smash
For a modern Scotch malt whisky, you simply can’t beat the Balvenie Smash. Created by Charlotte Voisey, this drink is the signature Balvenie whisky cocktail. To make it you will need the following ingredients.
• 2 oz. of Balvenie Doublewood
• ¾ oz. of lemon juice
• ¾ oz. agave nectar
• A couple dashes of angostura bitters
• A handful of fresh mint leaves
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail glass with ice and then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish the drink with mint leaves and serve!
James King is a whisky and cocktail enthusiast and writes for The Whisky Shop, the UK’s largest whisky only specialist.