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Issue 109 - Knowing the Classics

Whisky Magazine Issue 109
February 2013


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Knowing the Classics

Ryan Chetiyawardana looks at Bourbon cocktails

With whisky cocktails, Scotch has often played second fiddle to their American cousins. The balance is changing a bit with blended Scotch finding its feet again, especially in the hi-balls it dominated for so long, but on a whole, many bars will feature a higher volume of American whiskey cocktails.

There's a couple of reasons for this. To many, cocktails are the iconic classics: Manhattans, Martinis, Sazeracs... This, coupled with the recent revival of the classic cocktail through cultural prompts such as Boardwalk Empire and Madmen has meant that increasingly people know these drinks. In the last two years I've had more people order Old Fashioneds, Manhattans and Sazeracs than ever before. It would simply take a hint of the Southern hitting popular culture before we saw Mint Juleps on more menus.

However, it's not just popular culture that has influenced this boom. The embrace of the American classics by the drinks professionals has meant that demand for ‘old style' products is higher than ever. If you needed proof, you simply needed to watch the scramble for Ryes as supply dried up, and the wealth of new American whiskies being imported into the country.

There is this historical influence encouraging consumers to whiskey, particularly in the Classics, but there is also the fact that the inherent sweetness in American whiskies lend themselves to make some cracking cocktails.

In every drink there is an element of sweetness. Few people are fans of truly dry drinks: bone...

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