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.
On 16th March five top London bartenders faced off in a fantastic cask-aged gin cocktail competition, which may also have been the best named event of all time!
Maverick Drinks had armed each bartender with a different gin that had been aged or rested in casks, all from their awesome portfolio. Following a preview tasting where this fascinating crossover category was discussed, it was time for the #ginsin main event held at Megaro Bar. The winner would be chosen by 7 'tasters' (they're the fun version of judges) and would subsequently win the opportunity to create their very own cask-aged gin, which will have their name and even their face on it if they really want. (The latter, it was said at the time, may actually depend on who wins...) There should also soon be a Gin, Sin & 5 Soaking Barrels Tasting Set from Drinks by the Dram we hear, so you'll be able to sample all of these eminently mixable aged gins for yourself...
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.
You put the lime in the Ballantine’s, you drink 'em both together,
Put the lime in the Ballantine’s, then you feel better,
Put the lime in the Ballantine’s, drink 'em both up,
Put the lime in the Ballantine’s, and call me in the morning…
Flavoured whisky, eh? Obviously not that though. What I should say, of course, is flavoured whisky liqueurs and whisky-based spirit drinks, eh? This one’s a little different to many, however. First of all, it’s not honey flavoured (or even cherry flavoured). Secondly, it’s essentially made by actually steeping lime peel in Scotch whisky, in the cask.
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?
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.
The Whip at The Running Horse Pub
50 Davies Street, London, W1K 5JE
Tel: 020 7493 1275
Nearest Tube: Bond Street
Monday to Saturday, 12-11pm
Hunter S Thompson’s famous Kentucky Derby inkings were in my mind last Saturday as I climbed the stairs to The Whip in Mayfair – a newly opened bar which carries on the equestrian theme of partner operation, The Running Horse (located downstairs). Brandishing some serious bourbons, the menu is a mouthwatering selection of Derby classics – Mint Juleps were in order, and The Whip’s elegantly styled confines were a suitable location.
Another week's been and gone, which means it must be time for another #MasterofCocktails! This week we're making a Penicillin cocktail, created at Milk and Honey NYC by Sam Ross. Nice work Sam.
This is a Whisky sour, but is unusual, being made with a good slug of Peated Malt. Not a traditional hit in cocktails.
In this context, the peat works well with the traditional ginger, honey and lemon mix to provide further mental cues that the drink's doing you good. Delicious!
Right then chaps – we’re going to be making something that’s very much en-vogue at the moment for this week’s #MasterofCocktails: an Aviation.
Essentially, this cocktail is just a gin-sour with a dab of Violet Liqueur in it, but the sum of the parts is so much more than this. Also, as it's probably one of the least sweet sours you'll come across, it can still legitimately be called an aperitif.