Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
The site was chosen because the Bacardi-owned brand sources its coriander botanical from Morocco. The bartenders spent four days soaking up the culture and atmosphere, which included a trip to coriander fields, a visit to the famous souks and a botanical masterclass from Bombay Sapphire global brand ambassador and chief judge Raj Nagra.
They were then challenged to create a cocktail that showed inspiration from the trip. The finalists had 10 minutes to make four drinks and present them in an engaging manner.
Wolowidnyk drew inspiration from the sweet mint tea that is customarily served in Morocco.
Although this is the first year the competition has taken place on a global scale, it is in its sixth year in the US. The other judges were Bacardi Brown-Forman head of brand advocacy Alex Turner, head chef of Jal Mahal restaurant in Marrakech David Ducrocq, and Drinks International deputy editor Lucy Britner.
Wolowidnyk cited his talk to a coriander farmer, the tea ceremony and glassware purchased in the souk as inspiration for the cocktail. He also used bitters that were created by a friend back home, to evoke the taste of Marrakech.
(The Moroccan word for ‘Natural’)
➔ 1.5oz (45ml) Bombay Sapphire infused with Moroccan Saffron & Ginseng
➔ 0.75oz (20ml) Martini Bianco Moroccan mint/green tea
➔.5oz (15ml) Cinnamon/Cassia Syrup ➔ 2 dash Lem-Marrakech bitters by Kale & Nori
➔ Misting: Toasted Moroccan Coriander tincture ➔ Garnish: Lemon zest (as a Moroccan flag)