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 assemble a flight of three cocktails, one fully fleshed out as a recipe with precise measurements. The other two cocktails could be submitted as loose concepts. There were several 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 will be presented as three cocktails in rocks glasses inserted into a bed of crushed ice in a metal bowl, like oysters or other seafood from the raw bar. 3 Lemon wedge garnishes also sit on the ice 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 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 of smoke, oil, different acids, sweets, and spices.

Talisker comes from the gorgeous windswept Isle of Skye. It is famous for its salinity balanced with medium smokiness (around 20 ppm). I wanted to take that smoke and salt, standard through so many fish dishes, and pair it with a few personal favorites: smoked kippers, oysters, and scallops. Oysters and mignonette immediately came to mind 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." The Storm adds a bit more smoke, reflecting the smoked fish better. I needed a lighter, delicate cocktail to play with scallops for the third. 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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