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Issue 56 - All in the mix

Whisky Magazine Issue 56
June 2006


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All in the mix

Whisky cocktails are at the forefront of a cocktail revolution. Sally Toms reports

Like it or not, cocktails are back in style.

Many believe that whisky cocktails are a fantastic way of attracting new drinkers, and during recent years the industry has begun to recognise this and put forward whisky as a premier ingredient.

The trend has received criticism from serious whisky aficionados, however. Perhaps because traditionally other ingredients were only added to whisky to mask its flavour. For example, the first whiskies ever produced were so foul they had to be mixed with herbs and heathers to make them palatable, and during Prohibition cocktails were popular primarily because they masked the rather nasty taste of bath tub gin and moonshine.

But thankfully, times have changed, and a slosh of your favourite dram in a cocktail is a great way to invigorate your taste buds and maybe even rejuvenate your appreciation for whisky.

In its simplest form, the cocktail consists of two or more ingredients – at least one of which must be alcohol. Other ingredients can be fruit juice or soda, other spirits, as well as fruits, honey, milk, cream, herbs and spices. If you can think of an ingredient, chances are somebody's made a cocktail with it.

Don't be tempted to use the bottle of cheap ‘cooking whisky' you keep at the back of the cupboard, the ingredients in a good cocktail are there to enhance the characteristics of the spirit and create a new and pleasing flavour – not hide it in fruit juice.

Bourbons and blends are the traditional choice for a whisky coc...

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