A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
It was a great night for Pernod Ricard and its premium gin and scotch whisky arm Chivas Brothers as they swept the board.
The Supreme Champion cocktail went to Olmeca Tequila for its long drink Jasmine Tea Margarita. The aperitif trophy was taken by Plymouth Gin for Hunky Dory cocktail and the after dinner trophy went to Chival Regal 18 year old for the Aberdeen Flip.
The awards were announced at the Drinks International 40th Birthday party in the Albannach, Trafalgar Square, London.
Judges described the Jasmine Tea Margarita as an original idea for a drink. The judges all agreed this easily drinkable cocktail was “well-balanced, floral and light against a backdrop of well-rounded tequila”.
Judges added: “It had great length and the presentation of the drink was fantastic, as was the bartender’s knowledge of the product; this cocktail was the standout drink of the day.”
The winning recipe:
Jasmine Tea Margarita
35ml Altos Plata
15ml fresh lime juice
10ml light agave syrup
75ml chilled jasmine tea (add 50ml boiling water to 1 heaped teaspoon of Rare Tea Company Jasmine Silver Tip Tea and leave for 3 minutes. Add cold water and leave to cool).
Method: Build in a wine glass over ice and stir well to mix ingredients. Garnish with jasmine flowers and lime twist.