Cocktails in the Right (Whis)Key
by Sheila Swerling-Puritt
Whether you spell it with or without the "e," whisky is the world's most popular brown spirit. It seduces with scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, vanilla, smoke or butterscotch. Aficionados drink whisky by itself, but a dram goes well with a surprising number of foods, including prime rib, grilled rib steak, smoked sausages, country ham, nuts, or Gouda cheese, which are rich and salty enough to cut through the sweetness of those Canadian or Speyside finishes. A little Diana Krall, Sinatra or the best of Oscar's jazz provide just the right accompaniment to put you in a mellow mood.
You'll have no trouble finding whiskies from North America, Scotland or Ireland at your local retailer. Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey from south of the border uses at least 51 percent corn. Canadian whisky, lighter than its American cousins, is made from rye and corn and is often aged in used Bourbon or Sherry casks to add additional flavour notes.
Scotch and Irish whiskies are made from barley, although blended versions contain neutral spirit. Scotch whisky's grain is smoked over a peat fire before fermentation. Most Irish whiskey does without the smoke flavouring and is triple distilled.
May I suggest that for cocktails you don't use the most expensive whiskies. Blended will do just fine. I like to chill my cocktail glasses in the refrigerator ahead of time to keep the ice cubes from melting too quickly. (We found that demineralized water or Evian makes the clearest ice cubes.)
- 2 oz. V.O. rye whisky
- 1 oz. dry Vermouth
- 1 oz. pineapple juice
- Garnish: Maraschino cherry
- Pour all the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice.
- Shake well and strain in to a cocktail glass.
- Garnish with the cherry.
The All American
- 1 oz. Jim Beam Bourbon whiskey
- 1 oz. Southern Comfort
- 2 oz. Coca Cola (chilled)
- Place ice in an old fashioned glass and pour the Bourbon and Southern Comfort over the ice.
- Top up with Cola. Mix well.
Good Night Ms. Taylor
- 2 oz. Johnny Walker Scotch whisky
- ½ oz. fresh lime juice
- 4 oz. ginger ale (chilled)
- Dash of Drambuie
- Garnish: lemon slice
- Pour Scotch and lime juice into an ice-filled highball glass.
- Top up with ginger ale. Stir gently.
- Float a dash of Drambuie on the top of the cocktail.
- Garnish with lemon slice
For more information, you can contact Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org.