Whisky Magazine Issue 48
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Some whisky enthusiasts are naturally suspicious of whisky cocktails. But do they provide a platform from which to attract new whisky recruits?
Dale DeGroff - Renowned as The King of Cocktails (DDG)
Dominic Roskrow - Editor of Whisky Magazine (DR)
Audrey Saunders - New York mixologist and drinks consultant (AS)
Q. Firstly, let's get straight to the heart of the matter for Whisky Magazine readers. Are whisky cocktails good for the sector or detrimental to it?
AS: Whisky cocktails are definitely good for the sector, as they are an ‘in-through-theout- door' means of propagating the faith, which will hopefully help to expand the market into the next generation of new whisky drinkers.
DDG: Yes, that's right. Cocktails can only add to the experience no matter what the spirit. In the case of scotch the challenge is more daunting because of the smoke and peat and so most cocktails focus on blends over malts.
DR: And it can work both ways. We've done events where non whisky drinkers have found a whisky cocktail they liked and committed malt fans who have tended to sneer at cocktails have discovered a drink that they have added to their repertoire and extended the number of potential whisky drinking occasions. This increases sales of whisky in both cases.
Q So cocktails can be a stepping stone and help bring new drinkers to whisky?
AS: Absolutely; even if we utilise something as basic as a whisky sour; it helps to introduce a new drinker to the medium.
DR: Particularly as the fashion set are discovering the traditional whisky-based cocktails that show off the taste of the whisky. It's not a big leap from th...