Tag Archives: scotch cocktails

A Lesson in Blended Scotch

I’m sure many of you have all sampled a blended Scotch whisky before, but have you ever tasted the individual components that make the whisky’s final blend?

Chivas Regal 18 with the different malt components tasted during the live Chivas tasting event: Islay 18, Longmorn 18, Grain 18, and Strathisla 18

A group of influential Scotch and spirits bloggers had the opportunity to do just that thanks in part to the team behind Chivas Regal. In early October, on a blustery afternoon in New York City that just had “Scotch” written all over it, many of us gathered together live in New York City where we were guided in our Scotch adventure by Chivas Brothers  Global Brand Ambassador Alex Robertson. I was lucky enough to be invited to the Eventi Hotel in NYC to participate in the live component and monitor the chat room feed throughout Alex’s highly educational tasting.

Meanwhile, throughout the country (Well, world actually. We had people participating in Canada and, ironically, in Glasgow, Scotland!), bloggers alike logged in to a chat room set up by Chivas to watch and listen to the action as it happened in New York. And on our way we went! Alex was our fantastic guide to breaking down the Chivas Regal 18 into its various 18-yo malt components and “rebuilding” it to better understand what makes up the final blend.

So what happens when you have one blended Scotch whisky, four regional malt components, and participants spanning time zones at least eight hours apart? Well, why don’t I just leave that to the experts…Here are the blog posts I’ve come across to date following the event, that all provide some fine-tuned insight (in no particular order). If I’m missing a post, please holler at me and I will add it on to this accruing list.

  • Geoff at Drink Spirits seemed to have a blog post updated within mere minutes of the tasting’s final slainte!
  • Blair at Good Spirits News compares whisky samples to The Beatles
  • 2500 miles wasn’t enough to keep Scotch Hobbyist Jeff from participating in the tasting
  • Hal of A Muddled Thought takes “A look at the blend behind Chivas 18”
  • Half the Whisk(e)y Apostle duo was live in NYC, but both authors provide invaluable insights
  • The gentlemen behind Whisky Party rallied the troops and whetted our appetites for the tasting ahead
  • Update 12/9/10 – NY Drinks Examiner Robert Haynes-Peterson remembers “Ol’ Blue Eyes” himself, Frank Sinatra, with a toast to Chivas 18.

I must also add that we had a fantastic cocktail created especially for this live event from PDT’s Lindsay Nader. Here is the delightful recipe:

The Crooner Fizz

  • 2 oz Chivas Regal 12
  • .5 oz Chairman’s Reserve Rum
  • .5 oz lemon juice
  • .5 oz raisin syrup

Add all ingredients to a champagne flute and top with Perrier Jouet Champagne.

Slainte!
SJ

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Scotch for Spring

New England is infamous for its quirky, quick-changing weather and that’s certainly been the case in Connecticut this month. Not two weeks ago our basements were flooded and the National Guard was actually called into our small town to help control the flood. Days later we had record high temps and sunshine. Currently, we’re somewhere in between but I’m hoping (if only for the sake of our newly-planted grass) that the weather starts leaning in Summer’s direction.

April’s Scotchtail is perfect for this time of year (no matter what the weather’s doing) and the flavor combo of grapefruit and honey is divine! Easy-to-make, too! What more could you ask for?

April Cocktail

1 ½ Chivas Regal 12 yo

1 ½ oz. Ruby Grapefruit Juice

2 barspoons honey

Dash Grapefruit bitters

Stir the honey in the empty old fashioned glass. Add the whisky and continue until dissolved. Following the addition of the Grapefruit Juice, top with crushed ice.

If grapefruit isn’t your style, try this light and refreshing drink that would be fantastic through summer!

Cascade

1 ½ oz Chivas Regal 12 yo

¾ oz. Monin Mandarin Syrup

¾ oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Dash Peach Juice

Tonic water.

Shake all ingredients (except tonic) together in a Boston shaker. Pour over ice and top with tonic water. Garnish with sliced apple.

Cheers!

-SH

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February Scotchtails

Wow—does February go by quickly or what!? One day you’re planning a Valentine’s Day celebration and the next thing you know the month is over. Well, as we enter its last full week, let’s drink to the shortest month of the year (and only 4 more weeks of winter) with a few Scotchtails, shall we?

February Cocktail: This cocktail’s bitterness reminds me of myself this time of year…

1 ¾ oz. Chivas Regal 12 yo

1/8 oz. Benedictine

1/8 oz. Lillet Rouge

Dash Angostura Bitters

Dash Orange Bitters

Shake these ingredients over ice and fine strain them into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a blood orange peel.

Chivas Pure: Sometimes simple is just better…

1 ½ oz. Chivas Regal 12 yo

Fresh Fruit (take your pick—berries, apples, or grapes)

Stir whisky over ice in a rocks glass and add seasonal fruit. It’s that easy.

Chivas Cobbler: For those of us pining for pineapple…

1 ½ oz. Chivas Regal 12 yo

1 tbsp. chopped pineapple

1 oz. Orange Juice

¼ oz. Lemon Juice

1 tbsp. Vanilla Sugar

Muddle pineapple and vanilla sugar in a highball glass. Add the remaining ingredients and stir with ice. Garnish with a pineapple leaf and pretend you’re in the tropics!



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Winter Wonders

The countdown to spring continues here at Cocktail Culture, but Winter does have a few redeeming qualities. It makes great weather for drinking the following: Mindas Touches, Fireside Sippers, and Chrysanthemums. Curl up with a good book and one of these in your hand and you won’t be disappointed!

Fireside Sipperdrink and photo by Cheri Loughlin

1-1/2 part Premium Single Malt Scotch Whisky

3/4 part Hiram Walker Peach Flavored Brandy

1/8 part Hiram Walker Amaretto Liqueur

1/4 to 1/2 part Filtered Water to taste

Place liquids in a mixing glass – no ice.  Stir gently to blend.  Pour into snifter.

Chrysanthemum

2 oz. Dry Vermouth

1 1/2 oz. Benedictine

1/4 tsp. Pernod Absinthe

Stir Vermouth and Benedictine with cracked Ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Add Pernod and garnish with an orange twist (flamed, if you prefer).

Mindas Touch

1 oz. Chivas Regal 12yo

1/4 oz. Apricot and Butterscotch Syrup

1 dash Orange Bitters

Stir and serve in a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings.

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Drink This: January Cocktail

The holidays are over but we haven’t even hit the halfway mark on winter. Here’s a take on a Blood and Sand, just a little something to get you through one of my least favorite months–the January Cocktail.

January Cocktail

3/4 oz. Chivas Regal 12 yo
3/4 oz. Lillet Rouge
3/4 oz. Cherry Heering
3/4 oz. Passionfruit Juice

Shake ingredients in over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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The Big Bad Christmas Post

This time of year cocktail blogging can become a little overwhelming. There’s just so much to cover and not nearly enough time to cover it all. So rather than write-up a million little posts on great holiday cocktails (hey…I need time to wrap gifts too!) I figured I’d bite the bullet and put down everything you need to know about holiday drinking right here in my BIG BAD CHRISTMAS POST. Ready? Here we go…

Keep warm with this simple coffee cocktail. It makes for a great fireside sipper or dessert tipple.

Irish Winter

1 part Kahlua Coffee Cream

1 part Jameson Irish Whiskey

Freshly brewed coffee

Combine ingredients in a mug and stir. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Scotch is wonderful in seasonal cocktails—this one has the simple, warm flavors of brown sugar, hazelnuts, and vanilla. Great stuff from the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) Distiller of the Year—Chivas Regal.

Vanilla Hazlenut Blazer

2 oz. Chivas Regal 12 yo

2 tsp Brown Sugar

2 Hazelnuts

2 drops Vanilla Essence

Heat a brandy balloon over hot water with the whisky, sugar, vanilla and nuts. Set liquid aflame and twist glass to soften ingredients (about 30 seconds). Meanwhile, fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Pour flaming liquid over the ice. Garnish with 2 Hazelnuts & 2 Almonds.

The Beefeater Shrub takes a bit of work, but it’s well worth it for this well-balanced fresh cocktail.

The Beefeater Shrub

Beefeater 24 Gin

2 punnets Raspberries

2 punnets Blackberries

8-10 tbs caster sugar

Cloudy apple juice, lemon juice and nutmeg

In a saucepan muddle together the raspberries and blackberries. Add a little water and gently heat through adding the sugar as it warms up, simmer for 5 minutes. When cool place into an empty bottle and add equal parts of gin to the mixture. Leave this to stand in at room temperature for a day or two giving it enough time to marry together. Pour into a wine glass 3 oz. of the mixture, fill the glass with ice, squeeze and discard a piece of lemon and top with apple juice. Give it a quick stir and finally grate some fresh nutmeg over the drink.

Last but not least, give this new cocktail from Cheri Loughlin a try. It’s a decadent drink that just as appealing to the eye as it is to the taste buds. Absolutely the perfect drink with which to impress your holiday guests!

Minted Snowfall – created by Cheri Loughlin

Photo courtesy of Cheri Loughlin

I part Espresso Vodka

3/4 part Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps

1 part White Chocolate Liqueur

1 part Heavy Whipping Cream

Crushed Peppermint Rim

Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Stick Garnish -optional

Rim Old Fashioned Glass with white chocolate liqueur. Dip rim of glass in crushed peppermint.  Set aside.  Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake to blend and chill.  Strain into peppermint rimmed old fashioned glass over fresh ice.  Garnish with chocolate dipped peppermint stick.

Whatever your drink of choice this season, be sure to have a safe and happy holiday! Best wishes & cheers!

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Scotchtails!

Has anyone trademarked that word yet? I like it. Here are a few scotch cocktails to get you through a long holiday weekend spent with the in-laws.

The November Cocktail

2 oz. Chivas Regal 12 yo

Tsp. Vanilla Sugar

Dash Whisky Barrel Bitters

1 Star Anise

Place sugar and bitters in the bottom of an old fashioned glass. Add one ice cube and whisky. Stir until the ice cube has melted.

Regal Roy

1 ½ oz. Chivas Royal 18 yo

½ oz. Dubonnet Rouge

2 dashes Orange Bitters

Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

UPDATE: As one reader pointed out, the Regal Roy recipe is essentially an “Arnaud’s Special”  cocktail, albeit with different measurements of the same ingredients. According to Ted Haigh, the cocktail was first featured in the 1951 “Bottom’s Up” by Ted Saucier. Apparently it was the signature drink at Arnaud’s restaurant (my favorite in New Orleans!) before they switched their focus to the French 75. You can read more about it HERE.

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