It’s the pandemic! For a number of us, we survive because of the booze. And this got me thinking—how much do we really know about the alcohol we consume?
Stuck at home, we turn to hobbies we took up in high school: We’re baking again. We’re singing again. We’re gardeners again. Six months into lockdown, you, like me, might be looking for something new.
How about an actual sensory workshop on whiskey appreciation? Since large public gatherings have been discouraged around the metro, the Pernod Ricard group—famous for bringing in Chivas Regal and Jameson Irish Whiskey, among others—has been hosting workshops with their global brand ambassadors via Zoom. (Another huge plus for doing this all online is you get to hear it straight from Rhys Wilson, global brand ambassador for Chivas Regal, and Julien Rubio, the brand ambassador for Jameson.)
I was able to take advantage of the opportunities to talk to both of them, as not only were they the definite experts of their respective liquids, but they were also bartenders, which means they were able to give a few tips on building your cocktails at home.
I asked Rhys about his signature cocktail that won him a global brand ambassador position from the 2017 UK Chivas Masters and he shared three recipes, one of which I tried to replicate:
- 45ml Chivas 12yr
- 15ml Apple aperitif
- 20ml Lemon juice
- 20ml Sugar syrup
- 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
- Egg white
- 4 Cranberries
- Glass: Coupette
- Garnish: None
- Method: Shaken
Now here’s my version—with some pandemic-friendly substitutions. I used apple cordial instead of the aperitif, which you can buy off the shelves in any big grocery. I had a bottle of Peychaud’s bitters at home which I got online months ago. Instead of cranberries I just used cranberry juice. I removed the egg white as this really does not affect the taste (egg white makes the drink thicker) and I didn’t want to risk potential food poisoning at home, during a pandemic.
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Tried to recreate 'Vanity,' one of the cocktails from the 2017 Chivas Masters by @rhyswilson2.0 .. The ingredients call for apple apertif, Peychard's bitters, lemon juice, cranberries and simple syrup with egg white for texture. I did a 'lockdown tweak' with ingredients from the home bar and used a sweet apple cordial and cranberry juice. I'm a bit scared of raw egg white in Manila so I didn't bother (it's really just for texture). The original recipe called for Chivas 12 but I realized that my only bottle was signed by Colin Scott so I'm not going to use it. The cocktail base does go well with the fruity Chivas XV #successisablend
Tie Chivas Blending workshop will include an actual blending kit as you try to recreate Chivas 12 in your own home. The Jameson Virtual Tasting session will expose you to a blind taste test of the different Jameson blends. Both of these workshops are the best primers for anyone who wants to learn about Irish whiskey and Scotch and how they are different (and similar) to your other global expressions.
You can sign up with these links:
It goes without saying that you need to be of legal drinking age to participate in this endeavor.