Cocktails with Single Malt is Not Blasphemy, If You Drink It Like This
Some people put fine spirits on a pedestal, they revere them. And so they should. Spirits are, for me at least, the pinnacle of alcoholic production. They’re fermented, then distilled, and then aged in oak. This is where the final magic happens, beyond the fermentation of the base material, the work of the yeast, the selection of wood and industry of the copper — the rest is down to luck.
During the maturation process there is a combination of science and luck that creates the wonder, and variance, that is the world of spirits. I’ve tasted whisky that has come off the same run on a still, been put into two casks from the same provenance on the same day, and they end up completely different. Not just subtle changes; I mean, completely different, worlds-apart spirits. In that sense, spirits are wondrous and should be revered. But that also doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own and have a little fun along the way.
I grew up in London, and in that climate I rarely want to drink whisky any other way than neat. But sometimes I meet a feisty bugger, tight and grippy, who is begging for a small dash of water. Sometimes, it’s 40-degrees during summer in Sydney, and I’m gasping for a refreshing beverage. And more often than not in that situation, I find the solution in a cocktail. The world of cocktail culture has a solution for everyone. In Australia we can do away with the Northern Hemisphere’s concept of religiosity in regards to whisky. The old adage holds true here — when you use great whisky in a whisky sour, you end up with a great whisky sour. Ignore the naysayers who resist quality spirits in their cocktails, tell them you’re worth it. And while at Archie Rose we love our spirits being appreciated, we abhor the idea of telling someone off for the way they like it. Life’s too bloody short. Here are some of the best cocktail classics to try on a hot day with a bottle of Archie Rose Single Malt Whisky. It’s been quite the wait, and we’re stoked to finally be sharing it with you.
Signature Serve - Single Malt & Soda
A great summer serve boasts a generous splash of whisky topped with a measured splash of soda water.
So simple, so thirst-quenching. Also known as the highball, in some parts of the world this drink is one of the most common ways to enjoy a fine single malt. It’s super dry, and it’s super refreshing.
100ml soda water
Pour ingredients over ice into a highball glass, garnish with a lemon or orange slice.
Single Malt Whisky Sour
One of the all-time, if not the all-time greatest cocktail of all time. This drink can substitute any spirit, you can have a gin sour, or a rum sour, or any other damn sour. You’ve probably had some version of this drink, whether you knew it or not. We’re immensely proud how good our single malt is in a classic sour.
30ml lemon juice
15ml sugar syrup (1:1 ratio of sugar and water, if you feel like getting fancy, try some brown sugar)
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
15ml egg white
Combine all the ingredients, dry shake (no ice) as hard as you can, add ice and shake again. You can also try the reverse shake, where you flip that on its head. Shake with ice, strain and shake without. But whichever school you belong to (and both produce great effects), you’ve got to put your back into it. You’re shaking it up, not rocking it to sleep. The purposes of shaking are many: to combine, to chill and to emulsify that egg.
A punch is a many-varied cocktail. One of the world’s oldest recorded drinks - it consists of several parts. Spirit, citrus, water, sugar and spices. You can completely experiment here, there are very few rules — you’re trying to achieve balance and deliciousness.
30ml cloudy apple juice
20ml lemon juice
20ml kitchen spice syrup
Top with 50ml ginger beer
To make the kitchen spice syrup, boil 500ml boiling water and add two cinnamon quills, five crushed all-spice berries, two cloves and two crushed cardamom pods. Allow to steep for 20 mins, then strain out the solids and add 500g brown sugar. Stir until dissolved.
This embraces the spice, backbone and fruit-forward nature of this single malt. Plus it’s utterly delicious, and perfect for a hot summer’s day. Sláinte!
Rob Roy / Ned Kelly
The Manhattan family is one of the greatest gifts from the cocktail gods. The Rob Roy is a Manhattan with Scotch. Perhaps with an Australian Single Malt, Ned Kelly is a suitable nickname? Another infamous, albeit more local, outlaw. In the year the world reassesses police forces, maybe it’s apt to drink in their honour? Ned Kelly and his gang were also lesser-known as bootleggers. To the extent they had a decoy still at their camp, in case the police discovered them, with another more impressive still downstream. Before he was hanged in Melbourne Gaol, Ned’s last rumoured words were “Such is Life”. I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s as good a sign off as any other.
20ml Antica Formula
2 dashes Australian Bitters
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass, stir until chilled, strain into a glass and garnish with a lemon twist.