While purists might frown on the thought of blending a single malt scotch in a cocktail, Ms Georgie Bell, global single malts ambassador for Bacardi, feels it’s completely acceptable.
“It shouldn’t feel like a crime to mix a single malt in a cocktail as long as it’s done appropriately,” she tells The Sunday Times.
For her, it’s all about making the spirit extra accessible.
“Whisky cocktails are a great stepping stone, especially for those who are new to whisky because that way, you pair the whisky with flavours you are already familiar with,” she says. “Like red wine, coffee and olives, which are acquired tastes, you will slowly learn how to enjoy them.”
The 29-year-old Londoner was in Singapore for a sequence of engagements with members of the commerce and media in addition to shoppers to introduce Bacardi-owned single malts and blends.
Better identified for its eponymous white rum, Bacardi additionally has a scotch whisky portfolio that features Aberfeldy, Craigellachie and Aultmore. It additionally owns John Dewar & Sons, makers of Dewar’s whisky.
Ms Bell, who learn geography on the University of Edinburgh, did her dissertation on whisky and regional identification, and the creation of a picture of a spot by means of the whisky trade. She centered on the Islay area. She went on to work behind the bar and was an envoy with the hallowed whisky membership, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
After finishing a second, biochemistry and chemical engineering- centered diploma in distilling by means of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, she moved on to work as the posh malts ambassador for Diageo-owned Mortlach.
With all that have beneath her belt, she is set to “brush away the stereotypes of old”. She says: “Whisky isn’t just a man’s drink; it doesn’t have to be drunk straight up and after dinner; and not all whisky is smoky. Only about 10 distilleries out of our 119 smoke their barley.”
But not everyone seems to be on board with utilizing premium single malts in whisky cocktails. She recollects a commerce session through which a bartender commented: “I like to respect the whisky.” He is consultant of these who will solely have whisky neat or with a splash of water.
But she feels such a slim view on the versatile spirit is limiting and “builds even more barriers than whisky has already”.
“Whisky can be seen as stuffy, so it’s our job to break down these barriers and make it accessible, fun and interesting,” she says.
At a tasting session with the media final week, she instructed a couple of choices, akin to having the Aberfeldy 15 Year Old in a basic Manhattan cocktail made with candy vermouth and bitters.
This whisky goes by means of a double- ageing course of the place, after preliminary maturation and mixing, it spends an extra six months of marrying – or coming collectively – in oak casks . “This helps it stand out in cocktails because it has extra body,” she says.
On the opposite finish of the spectrum is the sunshine and delicate Aultmore 12 Year Old, which has floral and fruity notes on the nostril and palate. She instructed having that in a highball, the place the whisky is topped up with ice, soda water and some slices of pear “to bring out the pear flavours even more”.
Bacardi-owned scotch single malts and blends – specifically Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie and Dewars – can be found at La Maison Du Whisky (LMDW) and on-line wine and spirits distributor 75cl.sg.
Prices at LMDW vary from $139 for the Dewar’s 15 Year Old to $420 for the Aberfeldy 21 Year Old.
Ms Bell has additionally had quick work stints in distilleries akin to Mortlach and Ardbeg. Coupled with the technical information from her levels, she appears well-suited for a job in a distillery.
But for now, she is content material together with her position travelling the world to share the spirit of Scotland.
That stated, she doesn’t rule out working at a distillery “in a couple of years, maybe”.
“I would probably choose Craigellachie because I love the traditional aspect of the distillery and how it uses traditional worm tub condensers (a reference to a coiled pipe sitting in a cold water bath) in the distillation process,” she says.
“I’d want to work somewhere I enjoy the whisky that it makes.”