Of Whiskey Cocktails

Last night was one of the most packed I ever saw at Take 5. And there is no fun to match such occasions for a man behind the bar. More so if he has to churn cocktails and more cocktails. However there was a small detail that was a bit different about last night compared to most packed cocktail nights.

At the backdrop of live texas blues music that "Ministry of Blues" was drumming out, I was super busy manufacturing the regular stuff - pitchers of Margaritas, some Cosmos, a Martini here, a Mai Tai there. What made the night different was two things.

1) Good friend of mine came to the bar with a drink in her hand asking me to desperately fix her wrongly done Manhattan and later for asked for an Old Fashioned as well.
2) A regular patron at the bar wanted to do something unusual and I suggested a Boilermaker.

Now Whiskey cocktails are not quite regular at any bar in India. You would very rarely find people in India wanting to drink a Manhattan, forget an Old Fashioned which most wouldn`t even know. At best - a Whiskey sour. The fact that these are classic cocktails and probably quaffed in quite abundancy anywhere abroad has got no relevance here. Similarly Boilermaker - a whiskey shot with a beer chase is unheard of in these parts of the world. Shots in India are mostly Tequila or sweet/sour vodka shots with lots of fruit syrups. So I am on a rampage to do my bit of teaching people who come to the bar on "how to drink"!! In this blogpost I will give you the recipes ofBoilermaker, Manhattan & Old Fashioned.

Boilermaker (A whisky shot and a beer chase)
Officialy called a Boilermaker,choose whiskey of you choice - bourbon, blended scotch, single malt, rye or whatever. Shoot it, gulp it. Pick up a pint of your favourite beer and down some of it immedietly. Some popular combinations are

1) Jameson & Guiness
2) Jack Daniels & Budwiser
3) Yamazaki & Asahi
4) Tequila (Although not a whisky) & Coronoa

A classic martini drink, many bars serve it in a rocks glass, which I do not like much. The whiskey in the drink should be a Bourbon. If you change it to any other whisky as tennesse,rye or scotch, the taste will surly vary. Vermouth - the italian fortified wine - should be the sweet one , also called Rosso. The drink must not be shaken. Its a stir drink.

60 ml Bourbon (Jim Beam Black mostly available in India)
2o ml Sweet Vermouth (Rosso)

Pour Ingredients into a shaker with Ice. Stir and fine strain into a Martini glass with a marchino cherry dropped in as garnish. A dash of bitters while stirring into the shaker is optional. The taste is water diluted bourbon with a slight sweet hint.

An improvisation of the drink is Dry Manhattan (Bourbon & Dry Vermouth), Perfect Manhattan (Bourbon, Dry Vermouth & Sweet vermouth).

My friend found the drink very bitter (wonder what happ!!) and asked me to do something to it. I added a dash of triple sec and shook it on ice again and gave it back to her. And she loved it. I guess the pure taste of a Manhattan needs repeated drinking to develop a taste for it.

Old Fashioned
Also supposed to be the world`s first cocktail. Simple to make but easy to goof. Whiskey of your choice can be used. Place a cube of sugar in a rocks glass and muddle it in a dash of bitters. Fill the glass with ice cubes and pour whiskey over. Splash of soda ll do great help. An orange slice with a lime twist and a couple of maraschino cherries is a garnish. I wonder why maraschino cherries are a garnish in most whiskey based drinks. Anyways.....

My goof last nite with this drink - did not use soda, did not use garnish. Criminal,I know.....I blame it on the packed nite.

So next time you ignore all advice about never drinking whiskey cocktails, I suggest you try one of the above. A boiler maker is a good party starter, a Manhattan a nice drink to hold through an evening and an Old Fashioned a perfect nightcap!!


2 Responses to "Of Whiskey Cocktails"

Dee said... March 12, 2010 at 1:21 AM

Heyy No way of Follow-ing your blog!?
Also.. your twitter link says it doesnt exist! :O

Anonymous said... June 12, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Many mixologists say no splash of soda should be used. Additonally, I recommend using the more expensive, fancy maraschino cherries, not the fluorescent red ones.

Post a Comment

About Shank

Shank is a cocktail enthusiast & a self-proclaimed mixologist. He likes to experiment with spirits. He has traveled around a bit visiting hundreds of bars and tasting the buzziest of alcohols, cocktails and shooters.

Shank spent early years of his dizziness in Mumbai. He has lived in Hyderabad for long and for the past few years is chilling his glass in Bangalore.

He is currently busy spreading his love for spirits through this blog - Cocktail Nirvana.

This blog is part of his ongoing quest for fine spirits, creative cocktails and classic mixology. These online journals will capture his cocktail inventions, adventures with alcohol, trips to bars, meeting with ace mixologists, lessons in the art of drinking and much more.

This apart, ignoring good judgment, the fine folks at www.mybangalore.com also allow him to take up valuable space on their portal with his words & pictures.

Away from Nirvana