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Global Online Whisky Retailer of the Year, World's Best Blended Whisky & more...

by Ben Ellefsen     28. March 2014 10:53

World Whiskies 2014 Awards

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.

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Ballantine's Brasil!

by Jake Mountain     11. March 2014 11:00

Ballantine's Brasil

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.

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Master of Cocktails - The Penicillin

by Ben Ellefsen     24. February 2014 11:27

Master of Cocktails The Penicillin

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!

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Master of Cocktails - The Aviation

by Ben Ellefsen     17. February 2014 11:13

Master of Cocktails The Aviation

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.

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Master of Cocktails - Espresso Martini

by Ben Ellefsen     10. February 2014 13:18

Master of Cocktails Espresso Martini

For this week's #MasterofCocktails we're having a go at a modern classic. An Espresso Martini. Now before we begin, we're going to start by getting a few silly preconceptions out of the way...

The biggest one is probably the ingredients. If anyone says that you need a coffee liqueur to make an espresso martini, chances are they're trying to sell you some coffee liqueur. Or have been paid by a Coffee Liqueur Brand.

The thing about coffee liqueur is that it's made of coffee, and alcohol. We're using incredibly fresh coffee for this, which means you're going to get more than enough coffee punch, and won't have to sacrifice any flavour (as larger, more complex flavour molecules tend to degrade over time). We're also using dry ice today. As detailed last week, you can get this by ordering from online stores that ship frozen.

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Master of Cocktails - Singapore Sling

by Ben Ellefsen     3. February 2014 13:07

Master of Cocktails Singapore Sling

Another classic long drink for this week's #MasterofCocktails – this time around we're making a Singapore Sling to tie in with Chinese New Year. Definitely not a massive coincidence levered into the proceedings. Nope. Not that.

Remember, you can follow along on twitter from 6pm every Sunday before the recipe appears here on the blog the following day for your reference and general delight.

So, a bit about this cocktail - the Singapore Sling is a stalwart at Singapore's Raffles Hotel, dating back to the early 20th century. I've taken a slightly updated twist, however, heavily inspired by the superb book 'The Curious Bartender', by Tristan Stephenson. More on that shortly...

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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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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 - 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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Master of Cocktails - Christmassy Ginger Sour

by Ben Ellefsen     9. December 2013 15:00

Master of Cocktails Christmassy Ginger Sour

Here we are, in the second week of advent already! It must be time for the first, but definitely not the last, #MasterofCocktails Christmassy drink of December, this one being a festive twist on a classic...

You see, we love a good whiskey sour, but we also sure do love warming, Christmassy flavours at this time of year with ginger being one of the yummiest and most satisfying of them all. Back in October we not only made the perfect Eggnog but also some Bathtub Ginger Beer using fresh ginger and (perhaps unsurprisingly) ginger beer. Both cocktail recipes are well worth a revisit as we approach Christmas, but this time around we'll be getting our ginger warmth from an excellent ginger liqueur as well as gingerbread syrup, which brings some darn' tasty baked goodness into the mix!

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