This post is sponsored by The Famous Grouse. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep The Girl on Bloor up and running!
Normally drank on the rocks or sipped solo, scotch isn’t one of those kinds of spirits that you usually associate with mouth-watering, delicious cocktails. However, I had the chance to participate in a super fun cocktail-making competition that I have to say has made me a scotch cocktail convert.
If you’ve never had it before, scotch is a rich, smooth spirit that is really versatile and can be paired with a number of different flavours like citrus, maple, ginger, pineapple and more.
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited alongside some other talented bloggers and media to take part in a fun cocktail making competition featuring scotch cocktails, and it all went down in Toronto’s Dish Cooking Studio in Little Italy.
We learned a bit about the process of making the spirit from The Famous Grouse brand ambassador Nicolas Villalon, who told us about the aging and blending process. Otherwise known as Scotland’s favourite whisky, The Famous Grouse is a blend crafted from the finest malt whiskies and married with grain whiskies for a smoother taste, with hints of citrus fruit and a clean finish.
After learning about the spirit we would be working with, it was time for the cocktail making competition! Each blogger was paired with one bartender from bars across the city: we first made two cocktail recipes that our bartenders had developed, and then it was time for us to develop our own cocktail together using a box full of mystery ingredients!
I was partnered with Aaron Male, a frequent professional cocktail competitor who was my instructor and mentor for this particular event. I was a bit nervous to take on the bartender role myself, but after being the head bartender at home for family parties and special occasions, I felt ready to take it on! I made two of Aaron’s scotch recipes, one a smokey-orange classic known as a traditional Scottish cocktail, and the other a pineapple-orange blend that was sweet and tangy.
Coincidentally, Aaron is from my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario where he was a sous chef for 8 years, and is now an amazing bartender at Miss Thing’s on Queen Street West in Toronto. He came armed with two incredible cocktail recipes that didn’t disappoint, and we chose to make a gingery-balsamic cocktail as our third and final entry for the cocktail competition. It was an evening of fun and creativity as I further learned the art of cocktail-making with some of Toronto’s top mixologists!
But back to the recipes though! Here are they listed below – the perfect way to end your Friday.?Will you be trying these scotch recipes? Let me know what you think in the comments below and if you decide to make any be sure to let me and Aaron know on Twitter!?
*Original recipes courtesy Aaron Male