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Issue 38 - All fired up about whisky

Whisky Magazine Issue 38
April 2004


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All fired up about whisky

Dale DeGroff's new book is the bridge between the tradi tional world of whisky and the trendy High Street cocktail bar. Dominic Roskrow explains why

When international drinks celebrity and writer Dale DeGroff started championing whisky as an ingredient in cocktails late last year, his intercession was as welcome as it was fitting.

He is known as the king of cocktails, he has dedicated his life to making great drinks, and he recently published what must surely be the definitive guide to mixing drinks, The Craft of the Cocktail.

So when he tells the London Times that whisky will be the most important drink in 2004 and openly encourages young and up and coming barmen to learn more not just about blends and bourbons but also Scottish single malts, then you can bet your bottom dollar that there are plenty of people prepared to sit up and take notice.

But it's not because DeGroff's comments are so important; it's the fact that while High Street bars come and go and whisky as a fashion accessory shouldn't be taken too seriously, DeGroff is an important link between the classical world of drinks and the modern one.

For his way isn't that of drowning spirits in fruit juice as if they were just a do-it-yourself alcopop concoction. No; his is that of the sophisticate. He believes in celebrating the spirit and in showing it off, and of using the finest products to produce the very best drinks.

He may – to coin a phrase – mix in the world of fashion bars, but he's seeking out the people in for the long haul. In effect, he's the missing link between the producers of fine whisky, and the people who we need to drink it in the fu...

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