“This whole idea of terroir has been bred out of us by the large grain producers because it’s inimical to mass production,” said Mark Reynier, who built the Bruichladdich Distillery in Scotland around terroir-specific whiskeys before selling it to Remy Cointreau in 2012.
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Articles about all matters of distillate. Brandies, rums, gins and all forms of whisky. Aged and new, mixed and straight.
Largely out of curiosity, the spirits panel recently tasted through 20 bottles of blended Scotch in an effort to see what they offered. For the tasting, Florence Fabricant and I were joined by two drinks writers, David Wondrich and Robert Simonson. First, some definitions. All Scotch whisky must be made in Scotland. Single malts come from a single distillery and are distilled entirely from malted barley. Malting simply means soaking the barley until it germinates, which releases enzymes that convert starch
In the late 1880s, we also see the arrival of the Bijou, an almost Martini-like drink made of gin, sweet vermouth and Chartreuse, and featuring one of the first olive garnishes. By 1895, the Turf Cocktail appears in George J. Kappeler’s Modern American Drinks. It merely asked for the three ingredients: Old Tom Gin, Angostura and orange bitters
“Sous vide negroni has been on the scene for a few years now,” says Sanna Tuomola, a bartender at Chapter. “Our negroni is inspired by other legends in the industry. I visited the Duck and Waffle bar in London a few months ago and tasted their Olive Americano. I loved it.”
The Olive Negroni is gently cooked, or “matured,” in sous vide at 122°F for 24 hours with a handful of olives in the mix to provide the drink an extra layer of flavor.
Whether it is neat, straight up or on the rocks, a gentleman should be able to make a drink that is as elegant and sophisticated as he is. Cocktails are celebrations of different flavours from all four corners of the globe and choosing from this myriad of variety is no mean feat. That said, there are the essentials that you simply cannot do without – those cornerstones of bygone bars which still form the basis of mixology today. Below are ten classic cocktails that every gentleman should be able to make. And remember, it’s always cocktail hour somewhere in the world…
“The taste of whisky is primarily linked to so-called amphipathic molecules, which are made up of hydrophobic and hydrophilic parts. One such molecule is guaiacol, a substance that develops when the grain is dried over peat smoke when making malt whisky, providing the smoky flavour to the whisky”, Karlsson explains.
Karlsson and Friedman carried out computer simulations of water/ethanol mixtures in the presence of guaiacol to study its interactions. They found that guaiacol was preferentially associated with ethanol molecules and that in mixtures with concentrations of ethanol up to 45% guaiacol was more likely to be present at the liquid-air interface than in the bulk of the liquid.
“This suggests that, in a glass of whisky, guaiacol will therefore be found near the surface of the liquid, where it contributes to both the smell and taste of the spirit. Interestingly, a continued dilution down to 27% resulted in an increase of guaiacol at the liquid-air interface. An increased percentage, over 59%, had the opposite effect, that is to say, the ethanol interacted more strongly with the guaiacol, driving the molecule into the solution away from the surface”, Friedman continues.
I am not on a mission small brands vs big brands. I, as an liquid entrepreneur, and hopefully my bartenders too, are on a mission „making our own brand stronger than anything else“.
And, If I can give you one final advice: You should do the same. Build your brand – do not build other peoples brands.
So now for the $125 question: what does it taste like? The head distiller calls out “light floral notes, little honeysuckle, citrus, almost like an Asian pear.” It reminded me a little bit of sherry on first sip. Later, in martini form, it most poignantly recalled how glasses filled with well-made 80-proof liquor tend to make you tipsy before you know it.