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Three Glenfiddich Cocktails from London's Michelin-Starred Dabbous

Mixing three single malt expressions without losing their essence

by David Graver
on 29 July 2016

With the current craft cocktail boom, it's no longer unacceptable to take an age statement single malt Scotch and shake it up with carefully considered ingredients. On a recent trip to London, we stopped over at the Michelin-starred Dabbous for a pairing dinner and found that they utilized three different Glenfiddich expressions to a superb degree. One may have trepidation mixing up a 21-year-old Scotch with even the most refined ingredients. But in the hands of acclaimed chef Oliver Dabbous' team, the flavor profiles of all three expressions receive support. For those who prefer not to add a drop of water or an ice cube to their whisky, these might not be for you. For everyone else, you'd be surprised at how well Scotch can taste so summery when accented the right way.

Fruity up front—with pear most notable—Glenfiddich 12 more or less represents what one can expect from a good, traditional Speyside whisky. With a bit of Sauvignon Blanc to accentuate the innate oaky notes and citrus to punch it up some, Dabbous' cocktail for the 12 offers a refreshing, fruit-filled palate with effervescence throughout.

The 12

40ml Glenfiddich 12
20ml pear + bayleaf liqueur
20ml sauvignon blanc
15ml lemon juice
30ml apple juice
Top with soda
5ml sugar
Shake into a highball glass.

When most people observe the tasting notes for Glenfiddich's 18-year-old, it's hard not to draw associations with Christmas (though, the 15 strikes more closely to this). There's something reminiscent of candied fruits and cinnamon—with dry Sherry spice and caramels taking hold. To bring that to summer sipping, the Dabbous team added apple and Early Grey tea. Some Gammel Dansk lends pizzazz and the result is vibrance with substance at the core.

The 18

50ml Glenfiddich 18
20ml apple + Earl Grey tea
15ml Cocchi Americano
5ml Gammel Dansk
Stir over ice in a rocks glass, garnish with grapefruit and lemon zest.

Again, yes, even a 21-year-old Scotch can be mixed into a worthy cocktail. The esteemed Glenfiddich 21 carries the signature fruitiness of the brand—but with greater weight behind it all. When bolstered by the honey and anisette of XTA and spiced-up with Sherry, there's a delicate sweetness combatting a depth of spice. Altogether, though, it's bright.

The 21

50ml Glenfiddich 21
5ml XTA
15ml Fino Sherry
15ml Cocchi Torino
Stir into a martini glass.

Images courtesy of Glenfiddich

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