Next up in our whiskey cocktails was particularly fun to make – The Ginger Baker.
The Ginger Baker recipe
45 ml Tennessee
10 ml fresh ginger juice
10 ml fresh lime juice
10 ml orgeat syrup
30 ml pineapple juice
Slice of fresh pineapple or dehydrated pineapple & 2 almonds
In a shaker glass filled with ice, pour all ingredients and mix well. Strain into an old fashioned glass. Drop a few spheres of ice, garnish with either the fresh pineapple or dehydrated pineapple & 2 almonds and serve.
These all came courtesy of a session with DISCUS in May 2017, Mumbai.
I’m in Canada for a week and I thought while I’m off gallivanting, may as well post a few whisky cocktails – a bit of a departure from my usual style.
These recipes all came from a few hours one Friday afternoon in a sultry hot Mumbai May day where I joined a cocktail making class…
We began with a classic – Old Fashioned – full of ice!
Old Fashioned recipe
45 ml Bourbon/Tennessee
1 sugar cube
3-5 drops aromatic bitters
In an old fashioned glass, drop a sugar cube and add the bitters. Break the sugar and mix well. Pour in the whiskey and fill with ice. Gi e it a quick stir to mix well and add more ice if necessary. Release the oils from an orange peel and drop.
These all came courtesy of a session with DISCUS in May 2017, Mumbai.
This bourbon is named after the year Kentucky became a state. Originally released as an 8 year, since 2013 the distillery removed the age statement. There was also a wee bit of a kerfuffle over using ‘Ridgemont Reserve’ which apparently people confused with ‘Woodford Reserve’ hence if you search for a bottle today, may only find it labelled as 1792!
As usual, we sampled it blind and here is what we found…
Colour – Dark reddish gold, perhaps a hint paler than the others sampled the same evening
Nose – Aged rancio, sweet overripe bananas, strong rye quality, after time became fruity floral with some pepper spice
Palate – Dry weak body, cinnamon, astringent on the tongue
Finish – Very dry finish
Speculation was likely a straight bourbon with rye – turns out we were right!
Unveiling: The distinct feature of this bourbon is that it is produced in small batches.
For my vote, this is an uncomplicated, affordable bourbon with a dash of rye that could rock as a base for cocktails or an easy option to have on hand for parties. However, given the difficulty obtaining ‘phoren’ (that’s foreign folks!) whiskies in India, this wouldn’t be a top priority bringing back after a trip abroad.
Deep honey-amber hue with warm, pronounced aromas of under-ripe banana and brown sugar, with spicy notes of white pepper and toasted sesame. Light body with warm texture and long sweet oak, vanilla finish with a touch of bitterness to balance. Reminiscent of a slice of toasted rye bread with honey drizzled on it.
We mash, ferment and distill a lot of Bourbon in house. Our Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys also consists of Barrels selected from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana chosen for their unique qualities, heritage, and ability to marry in our blend, always made from a high-rye mash bill.
This rye is matured for only one year and made from a mash of 95% rye and 5% malted barley, matured in three barrels – new American oak, straight bourbon cask, then finished in casks used to age Pine Barrens Single Malt Whiskey. The ‘Bull Moose’ name comes from the nickname of Roosevelt’s Progressive Party, formed in 1912. True Americana!
As usual we sampled blind then revealed the whisky. Here is what we found…
Colour – Deeper amber than the Russell’s Reserve
Nose – Lemon soapy scented bubble bath, fresh sawdust
Taste – Ruafza (sweet rose syrup), sweet on the tongue while harsh at the back, wine notes with a chardonnay brightness or gewürztraminer sweetness, smooth
Finish – Very surface level, slightly sour
One thought had slightly synthetic flavour
Another suggested would be best drunk at a brunch, paired with a lemon tart
For a one-year old baccha (child), not bad… but not qualifying for favourites category
Master distillers and premier whiskey makers Jimmy and Eddie Russell have brought nearly 100 years of combined experience to artfully crafting Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old Bourbon. Bottled at 90 proof, this hand selected small batch bourbon has a rich, caramel and vanilla taste and a uniquely smooth finish.
Nose – Very sweet, perfumy, caramel, fresh, tropical fruits, crisp green apples, ripe bananas, citrus sweet lemon
Taste – Bitter, tart, orange peel, cheese, chocolate, toffee, honey on the tongue
Finish – Smooth, sweet with a hint of spice
Overall – Finally something that isn’t watery! Sense of being older, definitely the most enjoyable of the four sampled.
From the 1st whiff you could hear a collective “Finally! Nowwe are talking whiskey!”
The most fun of the evening was making three fresh flavourful cocktails using the JD, Jim Beam and Knob Creek as whisky base. It was an enjoyable experience however it is interesting to see how many of our whisky ladies have clear palate preferences emerging and expectations of their whisky.
This month, we braved Ganapathi festival traffic in Mumbai to sample three quite distinct whiskies from three countries – Scotland, Ireland and this American.
Unfortunately, I was insanely delayed reaching so we had two sets of tasting notes… the core group captured beautifully by another member and then her capturing of my ‘speed tasting’ solo impressions. I have definitely never zipped through sampling three whiskies in mere minutes before!
Group – Medicinal to smoky bacon, the nose gives the feel that it must have body… breathing very well like a “book flippping opening fast,” honey-glazed ham, marmalade
Solo – Oily, a bit ‘in your face’ as in ‘Pay Attention!’ but in a good way, overripe fruits, bananas, definitely quite ‘forward’ on the nose… as it opened baby puke sour, bacon then back to sour with the smokey meaty element gone
Group – Coffee, dry on the tongue, no smoke / peat on taste
Solo – Robust, tobacco, chewy, faintly bitter
Group / Solo – No finish… as in nada
Overall – It has attitude and also is quite a character. Worthy of further exploration. Something is going on with this one!
Corsair is an American small batch distillery based in Nashville Tennessee and Bowling Green, Kentucky. They have become a bit of a cult favourite for their edgy fun approach to fine spirits.
We take three fractions of malted barley, each smoked by a different fuel – cherry wood, peat, and beechwood – to craft this deeply complex whiskey.
Pot distilled then barreled in a new charred oak, Triple Smoke has the sweetness and barrel notes of an American whiskey and a single malt’s rich smoke, broadened by tones of cherry and beech. Excellent mixed or neat.
Their tasting notes:
Huge, rich flavour. Three smokes with peat at the fore, sweetness and vanillas. Buttery, broad flavour and long finish. Makes a great Manhattan.
Did we like it? You bet!
Check out the other whiskies sampled at our September 2015 session: