When there is a chill in the air and you find yourself pulling your winter coat out of storage, a nice warming drink is required to reward yourself for a hard day of work and an icy commute home. While a St. Bernard may tote a barrel of Brandy around his neck, I am more partial to the rich complexities of Scotch Whisky.
There are currently almost a hundred operational distilleries in Scotland, with five designated regions. The distinct characteristics of each malt whisky derive from the quality and type of ingredients used and the location of the distillery:
It may seem like sacrilege to create a cocktail from such a unique and elegant spirit. However, a skilled bartender will be able to carefully concoct a libation that will showcase the qualities of the Scotch. When mixed correctly with good ingredients, the cocktail will allow multiple layers of flavor and taste sensations without sacrificing the unique nature of the single malt.
This week’s Midweek Libation uses the Islay (pronounced eye-luh) malt Caol Ila (pronounced cull eela) as the base. Caol Ila (Gaelic for “Sound of Islay”) was founded in 1846 by Hector Henderson. The distillery, located on the island of Islay off the west coast of Scotland, gathers its water from Loch Nam Bam "over which ever the anon and fragrant breeze from the myrtle and blooming heather is wafted" (Alfred Bernard 1877).
The Nam Bam Buck, named after the loch from which the distillery gets its water, is an extension of the classic Scotch and Ginger, and bears some resemblance to the Gin Buck. It incorporates fresh fruits and juices to create an enticing and fascinating long drink.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 3 measures of Caol Ila. If you can not get hold of Caol Ila, any Islay will do. Add one measur e of freshly squeezed orange juice and a measure of strawberry coulis or fruit puree. (amount of fruit used may be adjusted to taste and is often affected by its sweetness or ripeness) Shake vigorously. Fill a tall Collins glass with fresh cracked ice. Strain the mixture into the glass and top up with a good quality ginger ale. Garnish with a fresh strawberry and a black straw. Ginger beer may be used as an alternative to ginger ale. Enjoy!
Thank you RJH! If you have missed any of the past Midweek Libations, you can catch them all HERE . xoxoxox.