106 � squaremeal.co.uk
hen I'm choosing a cocktail,
it's virtually guaranteed
I'll go for something with
whisky. I love how its rich,
nuanced flavours are teased out when
mixed. �e most famous whisky cocktails
(Manhattans, Sazeracs, Old Fashioneds)
are almost always made from American
spirits, but Scotch has seen a resurgence in
the past decade as people slowly realise it
doesn't only have to be enjoyed neat.
But where to start with a category that
boasts so much variety? With more than
100 whisky distilleries in Scotland, each
making a number of products, there are
myriad flavour profiles to play with.
Blends are a good start; some I like
using include Famous Grouse, Dewar's
White Label and Johnnie Walker Black.
As for mixing with single malts, some
think it's sacrilege, but I think it's fun.
�ere's so much variety, as I witnessed
when I recently visited bars across the
UK with Glenmorangie and tried Old
Fashioned twists made with the brand's
�e belief that different regions of
Scotland share specific characteristics
is actually quite misleading (with the
exception of island whiskies, which are
usually smoky). You're better off looking
into the overall distillery character - I
recommend Charles MacLean's excellent
book Whiskypedia as a guide - and the
wood in which the whisky matured.
�ere are two main types of oak used:
American oak (or bourbon cask) results in
sweeter vanilla flavours, while sherry casks
impart a fruitier flavour. Try and match
these with the ingredients in your drink.
Island (and Islay) whiskies - those
with smoky, medicinal characters - often
have big, brawny flavours that overpower
most drinks, but add just a dash, as in the
Penicillin, right, and you'll get delicious
Most of all, experiment - whisky isn't
just for sipping reverently in a quiet lounge.
With such variety of flavours and finishes, Scotch brings a good measure
of fun to your cocktails WORDS LAURA FOSTER PHOTOS SCOTT GRUMMETTAT HOME
The long-held belief that
di�erent regions of Scotland
share specific characteristics is
actually quite misleading