Single malt Scotch, is single malt whisky made in Scotland. To be called a single malt, the scotch must be distilled at a single distillery, using a pot still distillation process and made from a mash of malted grain – barley is the only grain allowed to be used in a single malt scotch. It must be distilled in Scotland and matured in oak casks in Scotland, for at least three years. (Most single malts are matured longer.) Top of my ‘favourite list’ is The Macallan Gold originally matured only in oak sherry casks brought from Spain (they now use oak bourbon casks as well). In 2010 a bottle of The Macallan, 64 years old, sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $460,000, the funds went to charity; there’s a bottle held in their archives dated 1841.
SCOTCH — Makes everything – even Haggis, taste better
I discovered scotch a long time ago, and a very short time after – the single malts. Other than a nice glass of wine, over the years, scotch has become my favourite holiday, or anytime, drink.
A few nights ago, while enjoying a wee dram of The Macallan, a friend and I discussed how we preferred to enjoy this liquid gold, ie straight-up, on the rocks, a bit of water or in a cocktail. Mine was, and always has been, Macallan straight-up, although some scotches I like with a little ice or water (just a spoonful). My friend prefers a cocktail.
This being said – we set out to experiment.
Our first cocktail was a ‘Presbyterian’ – 2 oz. scotch in a Collins glass filled with ice, topped with equal parts of Ginger ale and club soda. It’s a very refreshing drink.
Next we made a ‘Highland Bramble’, or at least my version of the Bramble. The recipe calls for Crème de Mure, which is a blackberry liqueur, in my version I use Chambord, a black raspberry liqueur. This is a lovely cocktail.
Use 1.5 oz scotch, 1 oz lemon juice, 1 tsp. honey, ½ oz Chambord and a dash of egg white. Put everything in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and strain into a glass, garnish with a twist of lemon.
Golden Honey Sour
I like to use Macallan Gold for this cocktail, as a matter of fact; I got the recipe from Macallan. I rarely have mixed drinks, but this is definitely one of the few I like as it’s not too sweet; it’s a whiskey sour made with scotch and honey instead of rye or bourbon and sugar.
1.5 oz Macallan Gold, 1 oz pressed lemon juice, ¾ oz Honey Syrup (equal parts honey and water, heated until honey dissolves – do not boil). Everything goes in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and strain into a cocktail coupe (Champagne glass – not a flute).
Scotch Hot Toddy
Now for a winter classic – our version of a Hot Toddy – ‘Scotch and Hot Chocolate’, this, as my father used to say, warms the cockles of your heart. 1.5 oz of scotch, 3 – 4 oz good-quality hot chocolate with 3 oz of ½ & ½ or 18%, frothed on top (I like a sprinkle of nutmeg). This is wonderful, in a mug, by the fireplace, on a cold winter’s night; also good, actually great, (a large batch) in a thermos while watching a football game from the bleachers.
That’s the end of our evening’s experiments; all in all – it was a very good night.
The Macallan gold retails for $75 at LCBO in Ontario, Canada and is available across North America. For information about The Macallan visit www.themacallan.com.
Cocktail Photos courtesy of Praxis PR.
Guest Post by Maureen Dahl. A connoisseur of all things single malt.