The Hobnail

As George Bernard Shaw said quite aptly, "Whisky is liquid sunshine".

The dipping temperature and dark evenings have us looking for ways to kick the cold. What's better than the comfort drawn from a dram to warm your insides in chilly weather? Winter and whisky makes for a wonderful combination that can be cherished in the current clime. The holiday season calls for a festive cocktail. A whisky cocktail often brings to mind the more conventional bourbon. However, Scotch whisky works as brilliantly in the smooth and sour Hobnail cocktail. Though Scotch whisky by nature is a delicate ingredient for a cocktail, it ain't a sacrilege to use it either. The trick is to opt for a good blend with character that complements the drink with a robust flavour profile that has hints of malt, smoke, and more.

The Hobnail, a smooth 'Scotch-tail', is a delicious twist on the whisky sour. It is a great balanced blend of the smoky Scotch with sweet and spicy ginger syrup, tart lemon, Angostura bitters and more. The bitter notes mix well with the blended whisky and this modern classic is also a favourite of the old-fashioned lot.

Whip up this intriguing cocktail for your happy hours.

The Process

In a shaker, combine 45 ml Scotch whisky, 20 ml ginger syrup, 20 ml lemon juice, 2 dashes Angostura bitters and 1 teaspoon Averna Amaro with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass also filled with ice. Serve on the rocks. Garnish with an orange peel, slice or even candied ginger.

This spicy, bitter cocktail with its great, full-bodied blend is a perfect choice to brighten, warm and get through your winters.

Spend Summer Evenings with the L.A. Mule

The pleasant summer cocktail, the L.A. Mule, offers the perfect Los Angeles experience with a refreshing twist to a time-tested classic, the Moscow Mule. The Moscow Mule itself was not a hit at first and was an invention born out of necessity, which slowly gained popularity. As to how it came into existence, there is a story indeed.It all starts if with the Polaroid Land Camera being invented by Edwin H. Land in 1947, introducing instant photography to the world. John G. Martin, an executive for the Heublein drinks company, got hold of a Polaroid camera, after the company had just acquired Smirnoff Vodka.Martin then went bar-hopping with a very specific intention. He photographed the bartenders, while they held a bottle of Smirnoff in one hand and a copper Moscow Mule mug in the other hand. He gave one copy to the bartender to keep, and kept another copy to show at the next bar, what the competition was offering. The marketing move paid off.The Moscow Mule came into existence around 1941, and is most probably the creation of Wes Price, the head bartender of the L.A. British pub, the Cock ‘n’ Bull. John Martin was having tough time trying to convince the Americans to drink vodka, and Jack Morgan, the owner of the Cock ‘n’ Bull, had incidentally ordered way too much ginger beer.Morgan, according to rumours, had a girlfriend who owned a copper products company, which is why he had no problem acquiring copper Moscow Mule mugs. Hence the need to sell Martin’s Smirnoff, and the urge to get rid of the ginger beer, lead to Price creating the Moscow Mule, the perfect summer drink. Price was exceedingly honest, and said, “I just wanted to clean out the basement.” The L.A. Mule, replaces the vodka with whiskey and maraschino liqueur, offering a deeper and more complex flavour. An ideal summer cocktail for whiskey lovers.

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A Deep Dive into the Rusty Nail

Rusty Nail is known to be one of the most popular Scotch Cocktails of all time. According to cocktail historian David Wondrich, the Rusty Nail made its first appearance in 1937. It has been categorized under The Unforgettables in The Big Book of Cocktails and tastes very rough, as indicated by its name.This wonderful concoction is made by mixing Scotch (malt) whisky and Drambuie (a sweet, golden colored 40% ABV liqueur made from Scotch whisky, honey, herbs and spices) and is commonly served in an Old Fashioned Glass.The smoky savor of well-aged Scotch is abridged by adding Drambuie to the concoction, which makes the aroma slightly sweeter. It also imparts herbal nuances to it, without overpowering the characteristic undertones of the Scotch.Quite a few variants of the Rusty Nail are served at different bars and restaurants around the world and various well-aged liqueurs are used as the base spirit. One has to serve this mix in glass full of ice-cubes. The shaken version of this cocktail is served in a Stemmed Glass or a Martini Glass.Straight Up Nail is the neat version of this concoction, which is generally served without ice or garnish.

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Perk Up with Pepper's Pride

Born in an upbeat pub in San Francisco, which goes by the name of Trick Dog, Pepper’s Pride is an improvisation on a traditional cocktail that came straight out of Josh Harris’s vintage cocktail book collection. Josh who? Josh Harris and Scott Baird are the owners of Trick Dog and are brilliant at what they do—crafting cocktails. They also recognize the shift that has occurred from going to a pub to get a cocktail to bartending at home and gladly introduces cocktails that need syrups and tinctures-- seemingly complex but unique concoctions that most cocktail lovers are looking for now. Here’s one cocktail that has a very complex profile and to be honest, while it is not hard work making it, finding the ingredients might not be an easy task. But then we are also amidst a retail revolution, so feel free to preorder your sherry, liqueur and Bénédictine in case they are not available at your closest liquor store. You can look for replacements but we recommend you stay loyal to the ingredients if you want to truly understand how phenomenal Pepper’s Pride can be.  Mix your own Pepper’s Pride In an Old Fashioned glass, pour 150 ml of Bénédictine and another 150 ml of Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur. Give a short stir and pour 30 ml of Oloroso Sherry. We recommend you put Domecq La Ina Sherry or Hidalgo for the perfect flavour profile. Pour 30 bourbon—while you are at liberty to add your favorite bourbon, we would suggest a bourbon older than four years. Try Smooth Ambler or Maker’s Mark. Now, give your cocktail another short stir. Pour medium sized cubes of ice, leaving enough room for another ounce of your preferred bourbon to add on top, here’s your cherry on top. Garnish your cocktail with an orange peel.

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