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Issue 127 - Unforgettable Classics

Whisky Magazine Issue 127
April 2015


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Unforgettable Classics

An intertwined relationship to history

I can still remember picking up my first cocktail books: Imbibe! by David Wondrich and Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh. The books that inspired me to start my career in the spirits industry. I discovered a world full of mystery, history and romanticism.

In this topic, through three great cocktails that are considered epitomes of whisky cocktails, we explore the intricacy and complex relationship cocktails and history have had. From the birth of the notion of a cocktail to random discoveries, we discover how our classic cocktails can have diverse origins and, more importantly, showcase how simplicity is often the founding block to a classic cocktail.

The Sazerac is renowned to allegedly be one of the first cocktail to have ever been made and is also one of the two trademarked cocktails in the world. A classic New Orleans cocktail, created around 1850 at the house of Sazerac, this drink was a medicinal tonic. Made with Sazerac de Forge et Fils cognac, and later changed to Sazerac Rye due to the phylloxera epidemic hitting France. This gorgeous drink of red/amber colour has a medicinal aroma from the bitters and absinthe, the palate is soft and voluptuous with a long finish reminiscent of sipping a complex piece of history. If ordered at a bar, I would ask for Maxime Trijol VSOP and a high ABV spicy rye such as Rittenhouse 100, equal measure of both as the soft complex cognac complements the spicy and robust rye whisky while the bitters finish the drink,...

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