I can resist most things in life except homemade cake and a good cocktail (and cocktails that taste like cake). If I’m honest, this summer has been spent enjoying far too many of the latter thanks to my befriending of a mixologist who’s pretty much made it onto my speed dial list (this is big news since I don’t call people ever). Don’t judge, if someone offered to make you espresso martinis and gin drinks that taste like palma violets on demand, your cocktail consumption would overtake your water intake too.
It was said friend I called upon when Waitrose Cellar got in touch and asked if I’d like to work on generating a cocktail with a twist, something to sip on summer evenings. I’ve been drinking heaps of gin since national gin day, so I chose a blended Scotch whiskey to work with and started playing around with some ideas. Actually, that’s a lie, what I really did was sample the whisky when it arrived and buy a bunch of things I thought might complement its rich vanilla and chocolate tones and then pass the whole kaboosh to the professional with the instruction that I wanted even more vanilla in it.
We actually tested the drinks out at the annual Berg barbecue held at my parents and since every surface in the kitchen was covered with related stuff, I didn’t get to photograph the ingredients and equipment. I did get some nice-ish shots of the outcome though (thanks to a borrowed camera). In the end, we played it simple with a whisky sours with a touch of vanilla and ginger. This proved the perfect beverage to enjoy on a balmy summer evening.
Vanilla and ginger whisky sours
25ml egg white
Juice of half a lemon
15ml syrup from stem ginger (with a little of the ginger too if you like, but mash it first)
one drop of bitters
One vanilla pod, seeded
Add all the the ingredients to your cocktail shaker with three quarters cubed ice and one quarter crushed ice and garnish with your vanilla pod, lemon and add a cherry if you like. Here’s what ours looked like, as it took a little while to find anywhere to photograph it, the egg white had lost its froth a bit but it still tasted divine.
I was genuinely impressed with the quality of the own brand whisky, which was pleasant enough with ice before it turned into the beautiful beverage above. I was also incredibly grateful not to have a hangover the next day, which means unfortunately, I might have to have another whisky sours night soon.
What’s your favourite cocktail?