Friday, September 25, 2020

Talisker, Taste of the Sea, Cocktail flight

This was my submission for Round 2 of USBG World Class sponsored by Diageo. The concept was to put together a flight of three cocktails, one of which fully fleshed out as a recipe with precise measurements and all. The other two cocktails could be submitted as loose concepts. There were a number of themes to pick from

To make the Mignonette cocktail add 1.5 oz. Talisker 10-year-old, 0.25 oz. Pimm's, 0.25 oz. Apple Cider Vinegar, 0.25 oz. Demerara Sugar Syrup (2:1), 0.25 tsp Smoked Paprika to a mixing tin. Add ice and shake well. Double strain into a 4.5 oz rock glass without ice. Garnish with a wedge of lemon placed on the side. Serve.

The flight is to be presented as three cocktails served in rocks glasses inserted into a bed of crushed ice in a metal bowl, as though they were oysters or other seafood from the raw bar. 3 Lemon wedge garnishes sit on the ice as well to allow the guest the option of additional citrus. It is meant to reflect a seafood tower/sampler platter presentation. There is no required order to sample the cocktails; in fact, sipping back and forth between all three is the recommendation. If pushed I would suggest the scallop cocktail as a first sip, followed by the kipper cocktail, and the oyster cocktail as the third. Bouncing back and forth between each is encouraged to allow a fun mix between smoke, oil, different acids, sweet, and spice.

Talisker comes from the gorgeous windswept Isle of Skye. It is famous for its salinity balanced with medium smokiness (around 20ppm). I wanted to take that smoke and salt, which is common through so many fish dishes, and pair it a few personal favorites, smoked kippers, oysters, and scallops. Oysters and mignonette came to mind straight away as I've drunk Talisker from an oyster shell more times than I can count. Pimm’s was also invented in an oyster house so it was a natural fit. Smoked kipper is a classic breakfast from the UK and one of my favorite running jokes from the epic sitcom "Red Dwarf". In the 2015 Malt Whiskey Yearbook, Dominic Roskrow even describes the nose of the 10 Year as “Grilled oily fish in lemon oil”. I find that the Storm adds a bit more smoke, better reflecting the smoked fish. For the third, I felt like I needed a lighter, delicate cocktail to play with scallops. A mild fortified wine and a bit of orange zest really highlight the soft citrus note of the Talisker 10 Year. I hope you enjoy it.

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