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An Alternative Burns Night with Monkey Shoulder!

by Jake Mountain     22. January 2014 14:08

Montgomery Burns

On Monday night I attended a Burns Supper with a difference, courtesy of the Monkey Shoulder Social Club. There was haggis, of course, and Scotch whisky too, but rather than Scotland’s favourite son taking centre stage, the star of this particular show was one Charles Montgomery Plantagenet Schicklgruber Burns, Sr. Oh, yes.

Monkey Shoulder, as I'm sure many of you will know, is a fantastic blended malt from William Grant that's made with whiskies from their three Dufftown distilleries: Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie.

The theme for the evening had been hiding in plain sight for some time as guests entered to win tickets to ‘A Celebrations of Mr Burns’, accompanied by a picture of Rabbie in a pair of shades that had apparently been enough to throw many off the scent. Upon arrival at The Caledonian Club, everything seemed perfectly above board... although... did I spot Groundskeeper Willy on my way up the street?.. Probably nothing, let’s just enjoy this Monkey Shoulder whisky punch (created by Roman Foltan of the Artesian Bar) in the library and speak to a couple of these nice people from the ‘Dufftown Burns Appreciation Society’.

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How to make clear Ice for cocktails

by Ben Ellefsen     21. January 2014 16:32

Clear Ice

Alternate Title: “If it’s not perfect, what’s the fucking point?”

My name is Ben. I like it when things are done properly*. This post, therefore, has been quite a while in the making.

It turns out making clear ice is hard. Very hard in fact. There’s a very good reason that companies like this exist. In fact, if you’re based in, or near, London – you should probably just stop reading this, man up, buy yourself a chest freezer to house some of their wares, and give them a call.

If like me though, you’re out of their delivery range, you’re going to need to make your own**.

Luckily, every single one of you has the requisite equipment for this, so there really aren’t any excuses. You can make big, clear ice with zero investment. Sounds like I’m trying to get you to buy a timeshare. I’m not. Promise.

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Master of Cocktails - The Adonis

by Ben Ellefsen     20. January 2014 13:49

Master of Cocktails Adonis

As promised, we made another low(ish) alcohol drink this week for #MasterofCocktails that’s fantastic in its own right. This one's called The Adonis and it's a real flavour-packed treat!

It's taken from ‘The Art of The Shim: Low-Alcohol Cocktails to Keep You Level’ by Dinah Sanders, a superb compendium of yummy low(er) alcohol cocktails. Well worth a look.

Without further ado, here are the ingredients:

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Master of Cocktails - Amaretto Sour

by Ben Ellefsen     13. January 2014 13:43

Master of Cocktails Amaretto Sour

An unbelievably simple recipe today, but genuinely one of my all-time favourites. That's right – today we're making an Amaretto Sour.

Now before we get started, there are, of course, many ways to make this drink. You can serve it up, or on the rocks. You can include egg-white for additional body, and you can even bang in some bitters for additional complexity. The picture below is an example of an 'up' drink courtesy of 'The Art of the Shim', a superb book that I'll come back to at the end.

We're keeping it as simple as you like for this #MasterofCocktails version, however, which means you'll require just 2 ingredients: Lemon and Amaretto...


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Diageo Whisky Theatre at the Worship Street Whistling Shop

by Jake Mountain     8. January 2014 10:45

Diageo Whisky Theatre

Back in December I visited the Worship Street Whistling Shop for a very special, two hour long ‘multi-sensory experience’: the final Diageo Whisky Theatre of the year. The project is the work of irrepressible Diageo brand ambassador Colin Dunn and the Fluid Movement duo of Tristan Stephenson and Tom Aske who have presented similar experiences in the past, for example with rum, but the mention of whisky certainly caught our attention immediately! I believe Tristan also has a whisky book coming out this year too – one to watch out for.

There is (just) room for nine people but I was joined by a fab four of Gin Monkey, Imbibe’s Laura Foster (recent winner of the Alan Lodge Young International Spirits Writer of the Year), Siobhan Payne from Difford’s Guide and London Cocktail Week and Alex Kratena off of The Artesian (named The World’s Best Bar for the second year running in 2013).

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Master of Cocktails - The Chrysanthemum

by Ben Ellefsen     6. January 2014 12:16

Master of Cocktails The Chrysanthemum

Happy New Year! Time for this week's #MasterofCocktails. No #Dryathlon for us, thank you very much.

If though, like us, you've had an entire Christmas of rich stuff and beery nonsense, you'll be happy to learn that all through January we're going to be preparing some slightly lighter cocktails. All January's drinks will be *under* 2 units.

This is quite a challenge in itself – most cocktails contain at least a double-measure of strong booze, but nevertheless. We're not cheating and making small drinks either. These are all proper-sized, delicious cocktails.

So, without further ado – this week we made a 'Chrysanthemum'. If the combination of the name and low ABV are making you feel uncomfortable, don't worry. It's got absinthe in it. Mmm...

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Master of Cocktails - Tangerine 75

by Ben Ellefsen     30. December 2013 12:10

Master of Cocktails Tangerine 75

We hope you were all able to enjoy a little time with the family, some nice pressies and plenty of bread sauce over Christmas, now it's time to look towards New Year. That, of course, is all the excuse you should need to indulge in a little mid-holiday excess! This week's #MasterofCocktails recipe is therefore a festive twist on the French 75 – tasty, refreshing and indulgent.

A good party drink this as we reach for the Champagne and wish good riddance to 2013!

It's been a quite the year here at Master of Malt though (I'll probably do a round up at some point), and we've also celebrated the arrival of many, many tiny humans, with babies seemingly popping out all over the business like Champagne corks on New Year's Eve!

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Master of Cocktails - Margarita

by Ben Ellefsen     23. December 2013 14:54

Master of Cocktails Margarita

By heck! It’s nearly Christmas – better make some Margaritas!

Yep, something like that...

So, I’m sure you’ll all be familiar with this classic tequila cocktail, but it’s one that’s so often poorly made. Well, we’ve had quite enough of that. For last night’s #MasterofCocktails recipe we decided to tackle the problem once and for all!

There are a couple of things to consider and to take care of in advance, but after that it's a nice simple build.

Gather round now, herein lies a Christmas Gift from Benny Blanco!

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Master of Cocktails - Vieux Carré Noeleux

by Ben Ellefsen     16. December 2013 15:17

Master of Cocktails Vieux Carre Noeleux

This week's #MasterofCocktails recipe is an absolutely stunning, christmassy twist on one of the true classics. The Vieux Carré dates back to the 1930s, but as we're creeping ever closer to Christmas 2013, here's a version using the latest festive ingredient from Professor Cornelius Ampleforth.

Many thanks go to Mark Gill (@thecocktailgeek) for the inspiration behind this one – a top suggestion that's very much appreciated.

In case you're sick of Christmas cocktails, apart from the fact that we pity you, there's also some good news – next week we're doing something totally different and you can find all the ingredients you'll need for that one at the bottom.

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Maverick Mr Fox - a Thanksgiving feast of Cocktails!

by Jake Mountain     12. December 2013 12:45

Maverick Mr Fox

Blimey, it’s been pretty busy around here lately! Jumping crocodiles, there’s been a lot to do! Most of it has something to with some little celebration towards the end of the month or something...

Just kidding, I can’t pretend to not be excited about Santa! I’m literally bursting with festive excitement! You see, I bloody love Christmas, me! The decorations, the music, all the wrapped up pressies and, of course, the Die Hard movies.

What on earth is there not to like?

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