Tasting new waters

With French, Italian and New World winemakers wooing the Indian palate with their range of products for some time now, the wine aficionados in the City are able to distinguish between a Chardonnay and a Merlot, a Pinot Noir and a Shiraz, with relative expertise.

“It is now time for American whiskey makers to test the waters so to speak and educate connoisseurs on the flavours and subtle differences between a Jim Beam or Jack Daniels and other popular American  Bourbons and Whiskeys,” said Frank Coleman from the Distilled Spirits Council of The United States as he interacted with the media and people in the hospitality and bartending business.
“Indians are the largest consumers of whiskey in the world and have a refined tradition of savouring the best of Scotch whiskeys from blended to single malts over decades. We are here to introduce this very knowledgeable consumer base to the finer points of tasting and savouring American whiskeys, which are very different from Scotch,” said Coleman.

Along with a top notch mixologist from New York, Toby Cecchini, the duo took the gathering on a cocktail mixing trip and a tasting introduction to five of the best American whiskey brands viz. Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve and Maker’s Mark.
“Since American whiskeys are sweet and smooth, they work extremely well in cocktails,” said Coleman.

They are made from corn and have a deep natural colour that comes from having aged in charred, new oak barrels for a minimum of two to four years,” added Coleman.
“With all the hype about fancy juggling tricks and flaming cocktails, a really good bartender worth his salt must give his customer a great tasting cocktail,” said Toby.
“This comes from using fresh ingredients like lemon or orange juice, not the canned pre-mixed stuff that ruins the taste, shaking the mix with enough ice for at least 15 seconds so that it emulsifies properly and keeping the embellishments to a minimum.”
 “When you make a great dish, you do not cover it with garnish, so people cannot see it it properly,” explained Toby.

He demonstrated how to make a Tamarind Sour (tart and refreshing with a hint       of orange), a classic Manhattan (a nice boozy concoction with vermouth) and a Ginger High Ball (an interesting combo of mint and          ginger).

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