31 August, 2016

Bangalore Cocktail Week - Whisky Cocktail Masterclass with Jamie Walker

After its successful run in Mumbai and Delhi, the ‘Cocktail Week’ property moves to Bangalore. Bangalore Cocktail week kicked off on the 27th of August. With a mix of bartending competitions, masterclasses by some of the best bartenders and a range of cocktails available at restaurants that have tied up with the team, the festival looks all set to make folks in the city fall in love with cocktails all over again.



Given my superficial expertise ( aka drinks a lot and reads Wikipedia) on whisky, I attended the Whisky Cocktail Masterclass at the Watsons pub in Bangalore, which featured Jamie Walker, Diageo's Reserve Brand Ambassador , along with Sebastian, from Watsons who kicked off the masterclass with a whisky 101 session. While I’ve attended a couple of these in the past, Jamie’s style of presenting was absolutely engaging. Successfully balancing the technical details with humorous anecdotes and history lessons, Jamie brought some excellent energy to what could have easily become a lazy post-Sunday lunch session. 


After sampling a variety of whiskies including the Black & White, Vat 69, Black Dog and the Johnnie Walker Red and Black labels respectively, we moved on to the fun part of the session to make cocktails. Sebastian started off with a cocktail called the Black & White Fizz. This was a crisp summer cocktail made with Black & White Whisky, lemon and cucumber and was absolutely refreshing. This was probably everyone’s favourite cocktail of the session. Next up was the Vat 69 Sour, an attempt at modifying the classic Whisky Sour by pushing up the citrus flavour with blood orange essence and lemon. The final product wasn’t my cup of tea…. Or glass of cocktail. (Is that even a saying?). Folks who enjoy strong citrus flavours took a liking to this. The third cocktail, I’m unable to recollect the name, heroed the Black Dog whisky with the flavour of apricots. While I enjoyed the aroma of the cocktail, the sweetness of the drink was a bit too much for my taste buds. 





Next up, running the bar, was Jamie Walker who kicked off with his own blend of Johnnie Walker Red Label, Angostura bitters, red and white vermouth, elder flower and green apple. A very aromatic cocktail with both citrus and earthy flavours coming through, I would have preferred Double Black instead of the relatively weaker Red Label, but that’s predominantly from a memory of another cocktail that I has tasted which heroed the Johnnie Walker Double Black and green apple.



The final cocktail for the evening had yours truly helping out behind the bar. The concoction contained a mixture of (a very generous amount of) Johnnie Walker Black Label, almond and cherry flavours with a Talisker and Black Label spray. For those who love the flavour of plums (not me), this is your cocktail of choice.


Picture Credit - Pravin Menon, at http://phenomenal-cuisines.throodalookingglass.com/ 

The masterclass set the pace for Bangalore Cocktail Week. With workshops focused on Gin, Beer and other alcohols, not to forget the Pub Crawl come Thursday; it looks like the Bangalore Cocktail Week is here to become an integral part of the city’s food and beverage landscape. 

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