I almost missed the Made in Scotland tasting room at Tales of the Cocktail while sitting through a seminar about cocktail photography. Luckily my partner slipped into the tasting room early to taste and photograph and I ducked out of my seminar early to do the same. What a delicious treat! Charlotte Voisey must have been the hardest working spirits personality at all of Tales of the cocktail from a few bystanders point of view. She shook up fresh cocktails using The Balvenie. It seems this busy lady could be found just about everywhere lively debate or Hendrick’s Gin needed a fresh smile.
While I did not have the pleasure of tasting the Glenfiddich offering of the Scottish Pair cocktail my impressions remained solid. First off many Scotch enthusiasts would cringe at the thought of placing Glenfiddich 12 Year Old in a cocktail rather than consuming it neat or on the rocks. However the representative on duty at the table assured me this cocktail tasted wonderful. Since there was nothing left to sample, I assume it went over quite well. My other observation happened to be the number of ingredients contained within the recipe, ease of obtaining the ingredients and degree of difficulty in building the cocktail. All measured an overwhelming ‘trouble-free’ on the ‘simple’ scale. Glenfiddich is relatively easy to find across the nation rather than one of the harder to find Scotches available only in selected markets. The ingredients may be found in nearly any moderately stocked grocers shelves. The Scottish Pair is a simple shake and strain variety that can be prepared with a cocktail shaker or mixing glass and strainer. Straight forward. When I mentioned how much I appreciated the detail of uncomplicated recipe for the average home bartender, the Glenfiddich representative said that is exactly what the brand was going for with this particular recipe. Nice to know that while there are thousands of fabulous recipes swirling about that tempt our taste buds with more ingredients than we can juggle and names we can’t pronounce there are also offerings of a more simple nature to choose from.
Scottish Pair Martini Recipe
3/4 ounce Glenfiddich 12 Year Old
3/4 ounce Hendrick’s Gin
2 ounces Pear Juice
1/2 ounce Agave Nectar
1/2 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
Combine ingredients and shake well. Serve up in a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Christmas Cake Martini Recipe
Something more along the lines of wintry and warm to set our sights on the days ahead comes from The Balvenie. This marvelous cocktail surprised me a bit with its beautiful color and flavor. The cinnamon notes revealed in lovely form with The Balvenie remaining intact throughout the cocktail. It would be a pity to cover up the delightful flavor personality of The Balvenie with over the top additions. The Christmas Cake Martini harmonized the essence of all the flavors perfectly. This would be an excellent cocktail to serve at your next Christmas party or family gathering this winter.
Christmas Cake Martini
1-1/2 ounce The Balvenie Portwood
1/4 ounce Raynal VSOP
1/4 ounce Cherry Brandy
1/4 ounce Orgeat
1/4 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
Pinch of Cinnamon Sugar
Combine ingredients and shake well. Serve up in a martini glass. Garnish with a fresh cherry.
Apple Bellini Drink Recipe
Tired of the usual champagne topped cocktail for Sunday brunch? The Balvenie offered the Apple Bellini for something just a little unique and more than a little divine at the Made in Scotland tasting room. This cocktail is so easy to prepare you won’t have to wait for a visit to Scotland. You can make it in your own home to enjoy for Sunday brunch, Saturday afternoon on the deck or anytime something refreshing suits your mood.
1 ounce The Balvenie Doublewood
1-1/2 ounce Fresh & Cloudy Fiji Apple Juice
2 ounces Brut Champagne
Combine ingredients in a champagne flute. Stir gently before serving.
There are other cocktails offered by The Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Hendrick’s Gin that should be sampled as well. These recipes are taken from the Stir Your Soul drink recipe book offered at Tales of the Cocktail.
Balvenie Smash – created by Charlotte Voisey
Balvenie Signature Cocktail
2 ounces Balvenie Doublewood
3/4 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 ounce Agave Nectar
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
4-6 Mint Leaves
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Serve over fresh ice in a Double Old-Fashioned glass. Garnish with a fresh spanked, mint sprig.
Sweet Solera – created by Charlotte Voisey
Glenfiddich Signature Cocktail
1-1/2 ounce Glenfiddich 15 Year Old
3/4 ounce Lillet Rouge
1/2 ounce Caramel Syrup
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into a martini/cocktail glass. Garnish with a fresh cherry complete with stem.
Abandoned Rocket Ship – created by Jim Ryan
Hendrick’s Signature Cocktail
1-1/2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
1 ounce Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 ounce Honey
3 Medium Hulled & Sliced Strawberries
1/2 ounce Lemon Juice
Fist full of Arugula (rocket)
Murray River Australian Sea Salt to rim glass
In mixing glass present in this order: fist full of arugula, strawberries, lemon and honey. Muddle with a spring in your stick. Add Hendrick’s Gin and Yellow Chartreuse. Ice. Shake and fine strain into a salt rimmed double rocks glass. Smile.
Blood & Sanguinello – created by Charlotte Voisey
Featured at: Wolfe’s of New Orleans Spirited Dinner
3/4 ounce Glenfiddich
3/4 ounce Sandeman 10 Year Old Tawny Port
4 Muddled Luxardo Cherries
3/4 ounce Solerno Blood Orange Bitters
1/2 ounce Pink Grapefruit Juice
1/4 ounce Lemon Juice
1 dash of Orange Bitters
1 Egg White
Shake ingredients vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange zest.