Although I’ve never been much a whiskey fan, when I received an invite to the Glen Moray Old Fashioned cocktail night I knew I had to go. And not just for the alcohol! I was curious as to how you could make a cocktail from whiskey. I couldn’t understand how a scotch would lend itself to this type of recipe.
*Disclaimer* I was invited along to this event for free. All thoughts and writings are my own. The goodie bag mentioned below was also gifted as part of the event.
The event was a little intimate affair held in P.U.B.L.I.C, next to the town hall in Sheffield. It’s such a small space that only around 10 of us fitted into the space. It was nice to have only a handful there as it made it easier to have a chit chat. It also made it easier when it came to the demonstrations. As soon as I arrived, I had a glass of Old Fashioned waiting for me to try. I will admit that it tasted a little too much like whiskey for me. Or in less vague writing, I didn’t really like it all that much. But this is why I wanted to be there. To try and expand my understanding of whiskey, scotch and Old Fashioneds.
A little background on Glen Moray
The event was hosted by Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley, known for their understanding of fine spirits and cocktails. With a book or two under their belts, and appearances on Saturday Morning Brunch. They were both really passionate about the Old Fashioned cocktail and I think that passion and exuberance set the scene perfectly for the event. Did you know that scotch can only be called scotch if you distil it for 3 years and 1 day? Now you do!
They explained how Glen Moray has been distilling and creating whiskeys for around 120 years. However, now they are wanting to be a little more contemporary and a little more creative which is why they are trying to bring back the Old Fashioned. This was originally a drink from the 1800s and was little more than a scotch and soda mix. Now we see these drinks mixed with a syrup and a bitter to help bring out the flavours.
Joel and Neil created their own before leaving us to our own devices…
My Old Fashioned choices
There was a competition during the event, whoever created the best (nicest) Old Fashioned would receive a prize. I like to say my competitive edge didn’t come out, but it did. Spoiler alert, I didn’t win but I think I managed to create two great-tasting drinks.
The first one I attempted was more of a sweet drink. Something more for people like me, who prefer the cocktails to mask the strength of the alcohol. I didn’t know how I was going to achieve this until the chocolate bitters were presented. Although there was a smokey quality to this, the chocolate flavour was what I needed to create the Black Forest Gateau. Golden caster sugar, griottine cherry, and chocolate bitters created the perfect mix, along with the Glen Moray Sherry Cask finish.
The second I tried to make for people who enjoy a good scotch on its own. I envisioned it as an after-dinner digestif, which helped me come up with the name The Drawing Room. The perfect (at least in my opinion) accompaniment to those after-dinner talks. This was a lot smokier and the sweet element wasn’t there. I have to say that I did rather enjoy it myself. Even though the taste of the whiskey was still very much there, the muscovado sugar and orange peel helped to bring a subtlety to the drink.
I had so much fun at the event and it was great that I was able to experience a different side to whiskey. I’m hoping the two above drinks will be something that I’m able to keep in my arsenal for the time where I can host dinner parties! This might be even more possible with the little goodie bag which included a small bottle of Glen Moray and a bar spoon! No need to convert my measurements!
Hasta la fuego
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