While many single malt Scotch whisky brands have come round to the idea of promoting the use of their spirit in cocktails, something that still invokes ire from many die-hard whisky fans, few have thrown themselves into the world of the on-trade quite like Auchentoshan.
Although the idea of partnering with bartenders to produce a list of serves or running a cocktail competition themed around a particular brand isn’t a new idea (see: Talisker’s 'Race to Skye' or The Macallan’s ‘Edition’ series), the idea of launching a permanent core range expression that’s specifically designed for use in mixed drinks is novel.
In fact, such is the cultural hostility surrounding the use of single malt in cocktails that most Scotch whisky companies have instead launched entirely independent blended malt brands to tackle the cocktail scene. For example, Monkey Shoulder, Shackleton, and Naked Grouse, the latter of which recently switched from being a blended Scotch to a blended malt. The thinking being, it seems, that the word 'blended' gives the consumer 'permission' to use the liquid in mixed drinks, while the 'malt' aspect is evocative of single malt and therefore imparts premium cachet.
The Auchentoshan Bartender’s Malt was created with input from the 12 winners of the distillery’s New Malt Order cocktail competition, which challenged bartenders to create unique Auchentoshan mixed drinks that were inspired by their home city.
The winners, who hailed from the US, Canada, Sweden, Germany and the UK, were given full access to the distillery’s stock and worked with the blending team to create a spirit ideally suited to mixing. The resultant vatting was released with no age statement but is made up of spirit distilled across five decades, the youngest being less than six years old. It also included liquid matured in a diverse range of wood, including German oak, a refill cask that once held Laphroaig, ex-Rum barrels, and more conventional ex-Bourbon and sherry casks. Such was the success of this first release, a second edition will be released later in 2018.
- 50ml Auchentoshan Three Wood
- 10ml Heering Cherry Liqueur
- Ginger beer
Build with cubed ice in a chilled collins glass and stir down.GARNISH
Two glacé cherries.
Midnight in Mexico CityINGREDIENTS
- 20ml mezcal
- 25ml Auchentoshan Bartender’s Malt
- 20ml Monin orgeat
- 25ml pineapple juice
- 20 drops malic acid solution
- Four dashes grapefruit bitters
Shake with ice, double strain and serve in a chilled Nick & Nora glass.GARNISH
A few drops of Angostura bitters.
- 60ml Auchentoshan American Oak
- 20ml fresh lime juice
- 20ml coconut water syrup
- 10 drops of grapefruit bitters
- Five drops of 20 per cent saline solution
Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass.GARNISH
Express and garnish with an orange twist.
AuchentoshanAmerican Oak 40% ABV
Matured solely in ex-Bourbon barrels, this entry-level expression is light and sweet with, as one would expect, notes of vanilla and coconut.
AuchentoshanThree Wood 43% ABV
Arguably the expression that made Auchentoshan famous among today’s whisky drinkers, it contains spirit that has been matured in ex-Bourbon barrels, Spanish oloroso sherry casks and butts that previously held Pedro Ximenez sherry.
AuchentoshanBartender’s Malt 47% ABV
The result of collaboration between the distillery and 12 influential bartenders, this expression is made up of spirit distilled in five different decades. Cask types used to mature the spirit include those made from both American and European oak (including German oak) that once held Bourbon, wine and sherry.
If Mexico were Scotland, then one could make the argument that Oaxaca would be Islay, at least in terms of the style of agave spirit they produce. This rural state in the country’s south-west corner is famous for producing a sour and smoky mezcal that often exhibits aromas such as burnt rubber, iodine, green pepper, and lily. We suggest QuiQuiRiQui (45% ABV).
A fancy term for salty water, saline can be used to adjust many mixed drinks to taste. Usually, a ratio of one part salt to four parts water will suffice. We dissolve 50g of Maldon salt in 200ml of boiling water, though simple table salt will work too. This recipe, however, calls for a slightly weaker 20 per cent solution.
Heering Cherry Liqueur 24% ABV
A well-known and flavoursome cherry brandy with a recipe dating back to 1818. It was a key ingredient in the original Singapore Sling cocktail created at the Raffles Hotel in 1915.
Malic Acid Solution
Used to mimic the acidity one would find in green apples or crisp white wine, it is less forceful than citric acid, which is used to mimic citrus such as lemons. Malic acid powder is available online and 10g should be dissolved in 100ml of water to produce the ideal solution for cocktail making.
Coconut water syrup
Made the same way as simple syrup. Just mix two parts sugar to one part coconut water on a low heat and allow to cool.