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Master of Cocktails - Mai Tai

by Ben Ellefsen     10. March 2014 12:15

Master of Cocktails Mai Tai

This week's #MasterofCocktails is an absolute doosie. We're making a Mai Tai. Probably one of the most abused and under-appreciated drinks in the world.

Now, if you've ever ordered one of these in a bar, you'll either have had a delicious variant on a Daiquiri, or a juice-laden mess that bears as much resemblance to a proper cocktail as a bottle of Hooch and an apple schnapps chaser.

Can you guess which version we're going to be making?

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Master of Malt 60 Year Old Whisky, and my contribution to the NAS debate

by Ben Ellefsen     7. March 2014 11:00

Master of Malt 60 Year Old Speyside

Well. This is sort of a big deal, isn't it?

I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of whiskies ever released that are over 60 years of age, and it's absolutely unthinkable these days that a 60yo distillery release would ever see the light of day at anything less than a five-figure price tag. Yet here we are bringing this astonishing piece of liquid history to you for a three-figure sum*.

How?

Well rather than re-iterate, I'll refer you to my explanation of the economics behind this, here: http://www.masterofmalt.com/Blog/post/Brand-New-30-40-and-50-Year-Old-Whisky.aspx. Do please read it, as every bit of it still rings true, and it's the reason behind our ability to continue to deliver exceptional, unbelievably well-aged whiskies at price-points an order of magnitude less than some other folk.

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Master of Cocktails - The Paloma

by Ben Ellefsen     3. March 2014 13:01

Master of Cocktails The Paloma

It's #MasterofCocktails time again folks! This week we're putting together a supremely refreshing drink – one which you absolutely must try if you haven't already.

A long drink made with tequila and grapefruit, god only knows why this isn't more widely available to be honest. This week we'll be making a Paloma. It's a Mexican number that translates as the 'dove', all you really need to know though is that you want one. They're yummy.

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Categories : Cocktails | Tequila


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Master of Cocktails - The Penicillin

by Ben Ellefsen     24. February 2014 11:27

Master of Cocktails The Penicillin

Another week's been and gone, which means it must be time for another #MasterofCocktails! This week we're making a Penicillin cocktail, created at Milk and Honey NYC by Sam Ross. Nice work Sam.

This is a Whisky sour, but is unusual, being made with a good slug of Peated Malt. Not a traditional hit in cocktails.

In this context, the peat works well with the traditional ginger, honey and lemon mix to provide further mental cues that the drink's doing you good. Delicious!

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Master of Cocktails - The Aviation

by Ben Ellefsen     17. February 2014 11:13

Master of Cocktails The Aviation

Right then chaps – we’re going to be making something that’s very much en-vogue at the moment for this week’s #MasterofCocktails: an Aviation.

Essentially, this cocktail is just a gin-sour with a dab of Violet Liqueur in it, but the sum of the parts is so much more than this. Also, as it's probably one of the least sweet sours you'll come across, it can still legitimately be called an aperitif.

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Master of Cocktails - Espresso Martini

by Ben Ellefsen     10. February 2014 13:18

Master of Cocktails Espresso Martini

For this week's #MasterofCocktails we're having a go at a modern classic. An Espresso Martini. Now before we begin, we're going to start by getting a few silly preconceptions out of the way...

The biggest one is probably the ingredients. If anyone says that you need a coffee liqueur to make an espresso martini, chances are they're trying to sell you some coffee liqueur. Or have been paid by a Coffee Liqueur Brand.

The thing about coffee liqueur is that it's made of coffee, and alcohol. We're using incredibly fresh coffee for this, which means you're going to get more than enough coffee punch, and won't have to sacrifice any flavour (as larger, more complex flavour molecules tend to degrade over time). We're also using dry ice today. As detailed last week, you can get this by ordering from online stores that ship frozen.

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Master of Cocktails - Singapore Sling

by Ben Ellefsen     3. February 2014 13:07

Master of Cocktails Singapore Sling

Another classic long drink for this week's #MasterofCocktails – this time around we're making a Singapore Sling to tie in with Chinese New Year. Definitely not a massive coincidence levered into the proceedings. Nope. Not that.

Remember, you can follow along on twitter from 6pm every Sunday before the recipe appears here on the blog the following day for your reference and general delight.

So, a bit about this cocktail - the Singapore Sling is a stalwart at Singapore's Raffles Hotel, dating back to the early 20th century. I've taken a slightly updated twist, however, heavily inspired by the superb book 'The Curious Bartender', by Tristan Stephenson. More on that shortly...

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Master of Cocktails - The Highball

by Ben Ellefsen     27. January 2014 13:02

Master of Cocktails The Highball

For this week's #MasterofCocktails, we're making a Highball. Incredibly refreshing, and probably in my all-time top three aperitifs. Well, top 5 anyway... (Martini, Negroni, Campari-Soda...) Yep. Top 5.

Now, whilst this may seem a very straight-forward cocktail (and in many ways is), it's all in the balance and execution. I had one of my favourites a couple of weeks ago at Bincho (a Japanese Restaurant with its own ‘whisky joint’ in the basement), where they paired Hakushu 12 with Fresh Mint.

We're going to use Lemon Peel as the 'garnish' in our drink, but we want it to be very, very subtle. More on that later...

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How to make clear Ice for cocktails

by Ben Ellefsen     21. January 2014 16:32

Clear Ice

Alternate Title: “If it’s not perfect, what’s the fucking point?”

My name is Ben. I like it when things are done properly*. This post, therefore, has been quite a while in the making.

It turns out making clear ice is hard. Very hard in fact. There’s a very good reason that companies like this exist. In fact, if you’re based in, or near, London – you should probably just stop reading this, man up, buy yourself a chest freezer to house some of their wares, and give them a call.

If like me though, you’re out of their delivery range, you’re going to need to make your own**.

Luckily, every single one of you has the requisite equipment for this, so there really aren’t any excuses. You can make big, clear ice with zero investment. Sounds like I’m trying to get you to buy a timeshare. I’m not. Promise.

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Categories : Cocktails | News


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More Boutique-y Whisky. New releases from Kilchoman, Glentauchers, Littlemill and Glen Garioch.

by Ben Ellefsen     21. January 2014 09:00

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Kilchoman, Littlemill, Glentauchers and Glen Garioch

Well that was quite a Christmas.

In fact it’s been so busy that 4 new releases have passed us by with nary a mention. Changing that, now I am here with the writing about things. Yes.

Without further ado, onto the explanations behind the crazy stuff that’s fallen out of my head and onto paper.

First up this time, we’ve got an absolute belter of an Islay Whisky, from Kilchoman.

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