It’s The Master of Malt Islay Festival 2021 Day 10: Jura time! Today we say hello to Jura and wave goodbye to the festival on its final day. Good thing we’ve got a range of delicious whisky cocktails lined up to toast another fantastic Fèis!
Sadly all good things must come to an end and the Islay Festival is no exception. We hope you’ve enjoyed the many virtual celebrations that have taken place over the last 10 days and still have some energy left to enjoy a cocktail or two with us and the folk at Jura Distillery.
The remote island whisky producer is home to more deer than Bambifest 2021 (we’ll see you there), George Orwell’s classic 1984 (he wrote the novel here on something of a writers’ retreat), and a distinctive brand of soft, fruity, coastal, and delicately peaty drams. While we can’t make the pilgrimage this year, we can still enjoy the fruits of the island’s labour in a variety of serves with Stephen Martin, global single malt whisky specialist for Whyte & Mackay, Jura’s parent company.
But first, let’s see what the distillery is up to and, one last time, we’ll remind you that we made this rad playlist on Spotify. It’s got the kind of music you’d expect to hear at the festival and some others fun tunes. What’s not to like?
What’s going on today:
Jura kicks off its celebration with Brunch Cocktails, a relaxed cocktail session that takes place from 1.30-2.30pm on Instagram Live hosted by Stephen Martin, and Kyle Jameson, co-founder of Nauticus, Edinburgh. Then from 7.30-8.30pm on Instagram Live there’s the Jura Pub Lock-In. For this, Martin will be joined by Andy Gemmell, owner of The Gate, Glasgow, for an event that aims to recreate an afternoon down the pub.
Jura’s whisky cocktail masterclass
“To us, Jura is so much more than a whisky – it’s a way of life and Jura Day is a celebration of that. It’s a festival that celebrates not only our vibrant and lively whisky but the spirited community that crafts our whisky and makes our island home special. Usually, we’d be welcoming visitors to our shores to toast the day with us in person. While we’re not able to do that this year, we’re hoping our virtual cocktail and beer-pairing events will bring a bit of fun to anyone tuning in wherever they are in the world,” said Stephen Martin .
He has a busy schedule today. In two different cocktail events, he aims to showcase how Jura’s whiskies can be used in countless ways, from brunch-style cocktails to sippers to pair with a pint in a cosy pub, and everything in between. “Whilst Jura is an authentic, island single malt, we’re also proud of how accessible it is – it’s enjoyable and approachable for everyone. These sessions are designed to showcase the true versatility of the range. Ultimately, we want everyone to be able to enjoy Jura and get creative with how they choose to drink it,” he says.
Martin hopes that events like today’s will demonstrate there’s more to single malts than sipping a neat dram. “We’re slowly but surely seeing a change in attitudes in the category with a wider variety of people enjoying Scotch – including younger whisky fans – which has certainly helped to shake things up,” he says.
The progress being made is underlined by the fact that not long ago it would have seemed inconceivable to base a festival day around mixing peated whisky. But cocktail culture has firmly made it to Islay, despite it being a setting that is often presented as a traditional throwback. You won’t find a distillery that doesn’t offer cocktails at the festival now and each brand is very happy to recruit highly skilled bartenders like Jamieson and Gemmell.
Today Martin and co. will be playing around with whiskies from the brand’s Signature Series, including Jura 10 Year Old, Journey, Seven Wood and 12 Year Old. Martin says they have flavour palates that lend themselves well to mixology. “We like to say this range is full of whiskies that are smooth, bright and lively (just like the tiny island community who make them) which work fantastically in cocktails. Each whisky brings something different to the mix so it’s great to experiment with the whole range”.
If you’re interested in learning how to mix Scotch whisky like the best, then watching the sessions today should provide inspiration and a source of invaluable expertise. Martin says there’s also plenty of advice available online (such as on Jura’s Instagram page) and that should start with simple cocktails. “And remember to have fun with it.”
We can’t reveal all the recipes you’ll get to see today, but Martin has kindly revealed how to make the Journey in a Breakfast Martini and a Coffee Highball featuring the 12-year-old expression. They’re both delicious and easy enough to make. As for the rest, you’ll have to tune in to see those!
Jura Coffee Highball
Build all ingredients into a tall glass then top with cream soda and garnish with a dehydrated orange slice.
Journey Breakfast Martini
40ml Jura Journey
10ml Lucky Liquor Orange
5ml Lucky Liquor Kummel
15ml lemon juice
1 tsp marmalade
Shake all ingredients with plenty of ice. Double strain into a martini glass and garnish with a twist of orange.