If the only way you’ve been drinking whisky is straight, think again. While some Scotch whisky afficionados will tell you it’s the only way to go, more and more producers agree that these days, it’s about having the drink you enjoy, not the way someone tells you to drink it.
‘There’s a lot of snobbery around in the whisky industry, just like there is in the wine industry,’ says Simon Coughlan from Bruichladdich, a 100% Scottish-made unpeated Islay single malt Scotch whisky. ‘People I’ve worked with for 40 years still think the only way to drink whisky is pure, but if you have good whisky that’s kept its oil, it can handle ice or water, because it opens up the nose. So – do what you want with it. Within reason!’
While whisky has been used in cocktails for a long time – think about the classics like an Old Fashioned, Mint Julep or a Whisky Sour – there’s an increasing use of whisky in cocktails, with many bars naming the whisky.
‘We’ve had ours used in cocktails before, and it’s delicious – try it!’ says Simon, who’s looking forward to pouring a good measure (or two) of Bruichladdich over his Christmas pud this year. ‘All our bottles are made in casks, bottled naturally without using any colour (95% of whisky has caramel colour added). Most whisky distillers want to make sure the bottles look exactly the same on every shelf in every bar, but the fact is, different barrels produce different colour whisky. Some say you can’t taste it, but there’s a sweetness there I can detect a mile off.’
So the Fresh team put Bruichladdich to the test, and spent an evening creating whisky recipes we reckon work a treat. What do you reckon? Give these a go, let us know what you think!
Rocks ‘n’ ‘Rol
This simple three-ingredient refresher is gorgeous in colour, and easy to whip up. Add ice, or a zing of orange zest to bring out the citrus.
- 20ml Scotch Whisky
- 15ml Aperol
- Soda water, to fill glass
Simply pour over ice and enjoy.
Perfect for a summer’s day. this pretty Pimms and whisky cocktail is the perfect opener to your summer party. Slightly sweet, it works well with canapes like olives and smoked salmon blinis.
- 15ml Scotch whisky
- 15ml Blackberry & Elderflower Pimms
- Few drops Angostura Bitters
- Soda water
- 20ml simple sugar syrup
Carefully mix whisky, Pimms, bitters and soda water in a wide glass. Add sugar syrup, stir and serve over ice.
Fresh Whisky Smash
- 10 mint leaves
- 1/4 fresh NZ lemon
- 4 ice cubes
- 25ml simple sugar syrup
- 50ml Scotch whisky
- Extra ice and mint leaves, to serve
Using a muddler or the end of a heavy spoon, crush mint, lemon and ice cubes to release the juices. When it smells divine, add simple syrup and whisky, top with extra ice and serve.