In the eight years that have passed since we started on our whisky journey, the renaissance of the cocktail and the culture surrounding them has flourished. There has been an explosion of creativity in bars and restaurants in cities all around the globe. Mixologists everywhere are bringing to life masterful classics and dreaming up wild innovative new recipes in renovated art deco hotel bars and Prohibition-style speakeasys alike.
This growth has undoubtedly helped the surge in whisky’s overall popularity and helped demonstrate that whisky can not only be drunk neat but can inspire a delicious cocktail recipe. The creativity seems unlimited. A great way to discover some of these new ideas and what you can achieve is by visiting thebar.
Thebar is a website operated by Diageo - the drinks company behind the internationally renowned World Class cocktail competition, the World Class House concept and a multitude of spirits and drinks brands. The website turns the world of cocktail bars, competitions and taste sensations into recipes that can be tried at home. You can select cocktails by spirit type, occasion, recipe or ingredients, even by your preferred mixer or complexity level (be it easy, medium or advanced). There is something to cover everyone.
The whisky section alone has 75 different cocktail recipes and is split in to bourbon and Scotch recipes. Few other websites that we know of have such an extensive list. Each recipe has a step-by-step guide, as well as the units of alcohol included and information about the selected brand.
A simple list of ingredients, the tools needed and tips on how to shake and stir like a pro bartender makes a whole range of drinks instantly accessible.
Here are our Top 5 picks from thebar – we have chosen a selection of classics and ‘classics with a twist’ and hope you have as much fun making and trying them as we did. Simply click on the title to be taken to the full page on thebar.
This modern take on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail uses the Haig Club single grain Scotch whisky and is one of the easiest to replicate from the site. All you need is some Haig Club, a splash each of vermouth and bitters, plus plenty of ice. Perfect as a welcome drink at a party.
This is another simple but tasty cocktail, this time evolving the popular whisky and ginger for which the blended Johnnie Walker Red is perfect. The addition of tart cranberry juice is delicious and refreshing, as is the zest of the lime garnish. Great for a hot Summer’s day or barbeque.
The Rusty Nail is a retro classic cocktail that combines whisky with Drambuie liqueur. This version brings it right up to date by using the new Oban Little Bay single malt whisky, which combines with the liqueur and ice to create a powerful and flavoursome cocktail. Superb for after dinner drinks.
The Manhattan is one of the all time great whisky cocktails and this increases the complexity from our previous three choices. This version combines the Singleton of Dufftown single malt with dashes of vermouth and bitters. After a bit of stirring, straining and garnishing it is ready. Perfect for impressing your sophisticated friends.
The Sour is a staple whisky based cocktail and is traditionally made using bourbon or rye whiskeys. This example uses Bulleit bourbon, although the Bulleit Rye would work equally as well. It’s a bit more complicated and involves the use of egg white, but it is well worth attempting.
All images used are © thebar and are reproduced with permission.