THE GINGER LADY MAC: LADY LUCK WHISKY & THE KING'S GINGER, GOOD FOR WHAT AILS YOU
Since a rather boozy and altogether fabulous lunch at Locanda Locatelli ten days ago, I have been on the wagon. In part preparation for the latest DH excursion to Madrid this week and in part in recognition that, at my age, the body simply needs to take a real break every now and then from the rigours of eating and drinking for a living.
Going cold turkey for so long has obviously sent my body into shock and I managed to develop a stinker of a cold which has laid me low and meant that I have not been able to leave the flat for the last four days. I have tried everything to shake it off from nuclear strength lemsip to some unmarked tablets I had in the bathroom, which I think were originally prescribed for gout. But, nothing seemed to help as I sat sniffling, wheezing and unable to get a decent night's sleep with out the help of a pill.
Finally, I turned to the only thing which has never let me down, good old fashioned booze. I had recently received sampler sized bottles of two very interesting new products and decided to use them to create a new twist on a classic winter drink.
From Berry Bros & Rudd, I had received a sample of The King's Ginger, an intriguing liqueur first formulated for King Edward VII in 1903 at the request of his physician worried about the monarch catching a cold while riding around in his new fangled horseless carriage. The Liqueur has a wonderfully fragrant hit of ginger on first nosing, which follows through to the first taste on the palate. There is also a refreshing note of citrus, which stays in the mouth long after the sip has travelled down the throat.
I can imagine that this would be a good base for a number of cocktails, but I had the perfect companion for it as I had also been sent a sampler of the new season whisky from one of my favourite people in the spirit business, John Glaser of Compass Box Whisky.
I make no bones about my passion for the Compass Box range, so when John sent me a little taster of his new whisky, Lady Luck, I was keen to put it to the test.
It is quite something to taste on its own, a limited edition "Vatted Malt" of a 25yr and 29yr Islay Malts from Caol Ila softened with a relative whippersnapper of a 14year old Imperial Highland malt. Fruity and elegant, perfect to cut with water and sip slowly allowing the flavours to linger in the mouth.
What better way to combine these two beautifully crafted drinks than to blend them into a cocktail classic? The Whisky Mac is traditionally made with ginger wine and and any whisky of choice. Here, I played around with the recipe mixing 1/3 of The King's Ginger with 2/3rds of Lady Luck and brought in some elements from The Old Fashioned with sugar syrup and Angostura Bitters. Instead of serving over ice, I poured the shaken drink into a frozen Old Fashioned glass, adding the finishing flourish of a twist of lemon to lift the fruit flavours in both drinks.
Although a chilled drink, the end result is a smooth but warming cocktail, perfect to sip on during the cold winter nights.
50mls Compass Box Lady Luck Whisky
25mls The King's Ginger
1tspn Sugar Syrup (equal parts sugar and water mixed until sugar disolves)
2 drops Angostura Bitters
Old Fashioned Glass
Chill the Old Fashioned Glass in the freezer for ten mins prior to making the cocktail
Mix The King's Ginger and Lady Luck Whisky in a shaker with ice
Remove the glass from the freezer and rinse with the bitters and sugar syrup, shaking out the excess.
Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass.
Twist the lemon peel to give a good spritz of citrus oil on the surface and slide the tist into the drink.