So – it’s that time of year again isn’t it? I checked my calendar the other day, and realised it’s 6 weeks until Feis Ile. 6 weeks. I’ve got no idea who’s stealing all the time, but as whoever it is takes with one hand, they surely give with the other – we’re only 7 weeks away from the release of this year’s Ardbeg Day special edition.
This year’s offering is called ‘Auriverdes’ – a portmanteau of the latin ‘Aurum’ (Gold) and Portuguese ‘Verdes’ (Green) – Gold for the colour of the whisky, and Green for the iconic green* bottle in which Ardbeg is presented.
Why Portuguese, I hear you ask? Well apparently there’s some sort of kickball tourney on later this year in Brazil? Not really my sort of thing, but I’m sure Jake will use it as an excuse to bore the crap out of you / keep you entertained (delete per your preference).
As I’m sure you all remember, about 3 months ago I told you all how to make beautiful clear ice for your cocktails.
Today, I’m going to show you an easier way. You know how much we all like things that are easy, right?
It started when a chap called Dan Skinner* posted an innocent comment at the end of the post mentioned above, saying that there were some guys in the USA making directional freezing equipment.
This week we're making a classic drink on #MasterofCocktails – a Bloody Mary. We'll get through this, and then I'll explain what you should have made instead. Clear? Good.
Now for me, when it comes to Bloody Marys, it's all about seasoning. Hence the (frankly ridiculous) list of ingredients.
What we're after is something to compliment the umami-rich flavour of tomato juice and work with the spice of the Worcestershire sauce. These are really the two key ingredients in this drink, and we're aiming to add to them.
So – the clocks have changed, and we've either gained an hour, lost an hour, or gone back in time. It's unclear which... Either way, it's time for #MasterofCocktails! This week's drink is a Palmetto.
Traditionally, this drink would be made with rum, vermouth and bitters, but as we're using Rumbullion! There's no need for the bitters in this one. I'm using the Navy-Strength, as that's what's behind the bar, but you could certainly use the regular stuff. No problem either way.
So – it's that time of year again.
Last week, we attended the Whisky Magazine World Whiskies Awards (and Icons of Whisky), and came away with a slew of trophies and awards to show for another year's hard work.
First things first – we're absolutely delighted to announce that we've retained our crown as 'World's Best Online Whisky Retailer' for the third year on the trot. An absolutely fabulous achievement which we're immensely proud of. We've said this before (and will keep on shouting it from the rooftops) but our site remains the only purpose-built online whisky shop coded from the ground up. It took an extraordinary amount of effort to build something that wasn't based on a standard e-commerce platform, and we're all hugely proud of the software stack we've built.
This week we're re-visiting a recipe for the first time on #MasterofCocktails – The Martinez.
The reason we're doing this is that the first recipe published way back in October was the distinctly modern version. Heavy on the gin, and light on Vermouth. Today we're going back to the old-school, with a 1:1 Gin:Vermouth recipe.
This week we're making a nice potent, wintry drink for #MasterofCocktails to accompany all the unseasonably warm weather we've been enjoying. D'oh!
Don't worry about that though, we're making a Boulevardier. You'll notice, ingredients-wise, that it's basically a Negroni made with whiskey instead of gin. It appeared in Harry McElhone's Barflies and Cocktails right back in 1927 after the New Yorker set up his bar in Paris and it's just an absolutely superb drink.
This week's #MasterofCocktails is an absolute doosie. We're making a Mai Tai. Probably one of the most abused and under-appreciated drinks in the world.
Now, if you've ever ordered one of these in a bar, you'll either have had a delicious variant on a Daiquiri, or a juice-laden mess that bears as much resemblance to a proper cocktail as a bottle of Hooch and an apple schnapps chaser.
Can you guess which version we're going to be making?
Well. This is sort of a big deal, isn't it?
I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of whiskies ever released that are over 60 years of age, and it's absolutely unthinkable these days that a 60yo distillery release would ever see the light of day at anything less than a five-figure price tag. Yet here we are bringing this astonishing piece of liquid history to you for a three-figure sum*.
Well rather than re-iterate, I'll refer you to my explanation of the economics behind this, here: http://www.masterofmalt.com/Blog/post/Brand-New-30-40-and-50-Year-Old-Whisky.aspx. Do please read it, as every bit of it still rings true, and it's the reason behind our ability to continue to deliver exceptional, unbelievably well-aged whiskies at price-points an order of magnitude less than some other folk.
It's #MasterofCocktails time again folks! This week we're putting together a supremely refreshing drink – one which you absolutely must try if you haven't already.
A long drink made with tequila and grapefruit, god only knows why this isn't more widely available to be honest. This week we'll be making a Paloma. It's a Mexican number that translates as the 'dove', all you really need to know though is that you want one. They're yummy.