Thanks to everyone who came along to join us ‘at home’ in the fabulous Monkey Shoulder kitchen last night. We hope you all enjoyed trying your hands at making Monkey Mojitos, Sours and Manhattans. As we said, cocktails are all about fun. If you love collecting kit, welcome to Mr G’s club but as Ms S proved, you don’t have to get bogged down with the expense and hassle of accumulating all the specialist bar equipment, play around with what you have in the kitchen and save your cash for good quality ingredients. Like Monkey Shoulder.

For those who asked, here are the recipes for the drinks we made along with some of the variations we tried out. Mix it up and enjoy!

Any questions? Feel free to drop us a line.

MONKEY MOJITO

1 part freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 part sugar syrup*
12 mint leaves
2 parts Monkey Shoulder whisky
Soda water
3 or so dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Mint garnish

* Use shop bought or make your own. Add one part caster sugar and one part cold water to a clean jar and shake till the sugar is dissolved. Keeps for up to a week in the fridge.

Method:
Pour the lime juice and sugar syrup into a tall glass. Add the mint leaves and muddle them gently. Half fill the glass with crushed ice and give it a stir to bring some of the mint to the surface. Pour in the Monkey Shoulder whisky and fill the glass with more crushed ice. Add a small splash of soda water (you can always add a little more later if you fancy it). Next, add the Angostura aromatic bitters and give the mixture one more stir.

Gently slap a sprig of mint against the palm of your hand to release its aroma and slide it down the inside edge of the glass. Put in a couple of straws next to the mint sprig. Top up with more crushed ice if needed.

Variations:
Try adding a few fresh berries such as blackberries or raspberries to the glass and muddle them along with the mint leaves. Ginger ale works brilliantly with whisky – try it instead of the soda water. Pils is also a nice alternative to soda water and for extra luxury try a splash of Prosecco.

MONKEY SOUR

2 parts Monkey Shoulder whisky
1 part fresh lemon juice
1/2 part sugar syrup
1/2 part egg white (optional)
2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters

Method:
Put all the ingredients into a shaker or Kilner jar. If using the egg white add at this stage and dry shake (without any ice) to emulsify it. Add lots of chunky ice cubes to your shaker and give it a really good shake, think ‘too cold to hold’ or if you’re using a Boston shaker, until the metal can is frosted. Pour into chilled Martini glasses or over ice in tumblers.

Variations:
Try liqueurs such as orange or fig instead of the sugar syrup. Or try a teaspoon of fruit jam. Taste to see if the mixture is too sweet or too tart before adding your ice (or optional egg white) and shaking.

MONKEY MANHATTAN

2 parts Monkey Shoulder whisky
1 part sweet vermouth
1/2 part Grand Marnier
1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters
1 dash Angostura orange bitters

Method:
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass or Kilner jar. Add lots of chunky ice cubes to your shaker. Stir gently with a bar spoon, long tea spoon or a chopstick until the glass or jar feels nice and cold. Strain carefully through a strainer strainer into a chilled Martini glass.

Garnishes:
Drop in a maraschino cherry. Or gently ‘spritz’ the oil from a piece of orange or lemon peel over the surface of the drink.

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