The Whisky Ginger Julep is a fascinating blend of whisky, ginger liqueur, mint and Prosecco. A cunning spin off from the classic Julep. Give your taste buds something to natter about.
Fancy joining me on a little alcohol slurping spree? I have a double bill today. First off, l have a new friend in the cocktail world to introduce you to (Hi there, Whisky Ginger Julep) and I have a decidedly different, downright edgy new spirit tasting experience – courtesy of Flaviar – to talk about.
Prepare yourself for an alcohol laden 5 minutes.
Since I’ll later be talking about whisky tasting, it seemed only sensible to start this booze-fest off with a whisky (aka whiskey) based cocktail. Inside of this bad-boy is a heady mix of mint, ginger liqueur, whisky and Prosecco.
Yup… prepare to watch your socks get blown right off.
I think of this Whisky Ginger Julep as a twisted version of the classic Mint Julep, which blends mint with Bourbon, straight over crushed ice. My twist on this classic cocktail is longer but no less potent. Don’t be fooled by those innocent sparkling bubbles – this is a drink begging to be lingered over and not supped like it’s time for last orders and your best friend is buying (Hi Jo!).
A good cocktail should be interesting & enticing; include numerous well thought out flavours and prove to be a pure delight for the drinker. Along that train of thought, this Whisky Ginger Julep offers up a little minty sugar hit from deep in the bottom of the glass which combines with those toasty, spicy notes from the whisky and ginger. Oh, and it’s all topped off with bubbles. Bliss.
If you like strong cocktails then this Whisky Ginger Julep should amuse your senses nicely. But please, please, when you have one promise me that you will sip it slowly, very S.L.O.W.L.Y. Also, do not drive, use a sharp knife, play with matches, deep-fry a late night snack or anything else potentially dangerous after consuming it. Definitely do not go roller-skating.
In fact, to be safe, after you’ve savoured that final, spicy, minty, sugar loaded nip, hop on your cocktail scooter and go directly to bed.
Enough of the warnings though and on with the booze. And while we’re in the mood for stiff drinks, let’s talk about spirit tasting.
Spirit tasting? My husband is quite into his wine and the pair of us love a little wine tasting, but until recently, I’d never heard of spirit tastings. It makes perfect sense really – just think of your regular supermarket and their whisky or gin shelf. I’ll bet there’s a whole army of bottles for you to pick from. And do they all taste the same? No. Do they all cost the same? No. And are they all from the same country. Probably not.
The brands that reach the supermarkets are just a small scattering of what is actually available. There are countless lesser known distilleries, producing wonderful products that never make it to the shelves of regular stores. So, when Flaviar recently approached me with an offer to try out their spirit tasting service, I jumped at the chance. Flaviar takes quality very seriously and offers up quality drinks from only the very best beverage producers in the World – be they small or large scale operators.
Here’s the deal:
- Sign up for quarterly membership and every 3 months you get to select a tasting box of spirits to try (including whisky, Bourbon, Gin, Tequila, Rum, Brandy or even Absinthe (if you’re feeling especially brave)
- You’ll get 3 sample bottles, containing 45ml each of 3 different brands from your chosen spirit range
- After sampling your spirits, should you wish to, you can order a full bottle directly through Flaviar. How perfect does that sound?
- You also get access to a wide range of other craft and premium spirits – many of which you are unlikely to find even at speciality stores – to purchase as you wish
- There are also some nice discounts from the recommended retail prices too
There are really 2 ways to enjoy your tasting box. Flaviar recommend you host a mini party with a select friend or two and literally blind taste each sample one after the other. Your aim is to try to identify:
- tastes and flavours
- possible age of the spirit
- the way it was made
And most importantly: do you like them and which is your favourite. Within each tasting pack you get some notes on how best to taste and a lovely write-up about each spirit.
That was what I intended to do with my husband and best friend a few weeks back. But… plans went askew and it ended up being just my husband and me in for the tasting of 3 x 45ml samples of WHISKY. Um… that’s a lot of whisky for 2 people in one night. So…. we decided to take a different approach and sample the whiskies in turn over three separate evenings. Drinking a larger amount of each whisky was so very enjoyable. We got a real taste for each one. We correctly identified quite a few of the flavours within each whisky and at the end of our tastings, we were still able to distinguish our favourites easily.
Confession: I only began to like whisky about 2 years ago when my husband came home with a £150 bottle that he had won at a work function. I reluctantly tried it and was honestly shocked at how different it tasted compared to the cheap stuff I’d previously tried, winced at and quickly discarded. It was actually pleasant. Deeply pleasant. What I discovered from my Flaviar tasting box of whiskies was just how different whiskies can be. They were all of a similar price and yet they tasted so different from one another. If you think whisky is whisky: think again.
If you like wine tasting and you like spirits, I think you’ll enjoy a touch of Flaviar in your life: it’s a bit like a wine or chocolate club, only for spirits. And you get to select which variety you’ll be sampling each quarter – you never get stuck with a spirit you hate. Pretty cool. Hop over to the Flaviar website to take a look around (the Help/ FAQ section is particularly informative). You’ll need to enter your email address to get onto their list but it doesn’t take long for the Flaviar team to get you set up to view the full site, no obligation.
Flaviar is essentially a club. A friendly club for spirit drinkers. And what do clubs do? They meet and they share information. So, if you love the product, think about these ways to enjoy your subscription and share the love (and the cost):
- If you have like-minded friends the Flaviar Tasting Boxes could be the perfect incentive to ensure you meet up more regularly. Agree to share the tasting boxes together and share the cost
- You could decide to gift one or two of the boxes to loved ones. They make great birthday or Christmas presents – but do save one for yourself.
That said, I won’t judge if you’ve really worked hard and decide to splurge, splash out and treat yourself to membership just for yourself. You’ve earned it.
Membership costs £45/€55/$60 paid quarterly and can be cancelled at anytime.
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- 12 Large fresh mint leaves
- 2 Sugar cubes (demerara or brown) - or 2 tsp demerera sugar
- 30 ml/ 2/3 part Whisky (I used Scotch Whisky)
- 15 ml/ 1/3 part Ginger Liqueur - I used The Kings Ginger Liqueur
- 45 ml/ 1 part Prosecco
- Ice - crushed or cubed
- Mint sprig
Begin by lightly crushing the sugar cubes and place in the bottom of the glass
Add the mint leaves and the ginger liqueur. Gently muddle using a cocktail muddler or the end of a small rolling pin
Add the ice
Pour in the whisky. Stir briefly
Carefully top the drink with the Prosecco
Add more ice if there is room in the glass and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and a sip straw