Regardless of the unwavering beliefs of sure cigar-smoking, sporting gents, Scotch is made for consuming the way you prefer it. For some, which means topping it with soda, like Coke or ginger ale; for others, it means including a hefty measure of water; for others nonetheless, it’d imply mixing it in a cocktail.
Nonetheless, whereas there aren’t exact guidelines relating to the best way to combine the spirit in a cocktail, there are definitely some tips price following. “For me, the Scotch has to style nice by itself, if I’m going to make use of it in a drink on our cocktail menu,” says Michael Hajiyianni, basic supervisor at Ruby in Copenhagen, who suggests including lighter Scotches to highballs, reserving extra strong bottles for stirring into spirit-forward drinks.
One of many major issues when shopping for a Scotch for mixing is whether or not it’s a single malt or blended Scotch. The latter is the commonest type of whisky utilized in cocktails, as most are bottled at a cocktail-friendly ABV, between 40 and 45 p.c. They typically comprise each malt and grain whiskies, relying on the model, and subsequently have the character to face up in a cocktail.
However single malt has change into a extra standard backbar merchandise during the last decade, regardless of the upper price ticket. “Nowadays, there are extra ‘cocktail-friendly’ single malts in the marketplace,” says Samantha Casuga, head bartender at Temple Bar in New York, referring to the vary of latest choices at an reasonably priced worth level. Casuga additionally notes that, whereas the spirit is often consumed neat, single malts provide extra management when deciding on a Scotch for a cocktail, as bartenders can residence in on particular taste notes, relatively than having to depend on a mix.
Even inside these classes, although, there are nuances dependent upon area and every distillery’s distinctive manufacturing strategies. For instance, “Islay whisky is known for being closely peated [i.e., smoky] with hints of brine from the salty sea air, and is ideal for extra strong cocktails,” says Maroš Dzurus, bar supervisor at Himkok in Oslo, Norway. “Lowland single malts are identified for being mild and delicate, and Speyside malts are beneficiant with fruity flavors.”
To sift by way of the innumerable Scotch whiskies in the marketplace and decide the very best ones for mixing, we tapped bartenders from all over the world for his or her go-to suggestions.