Monkey Shoulder Cocktail Bootcamp

Monkey Shoulder

Tuesday night saw myself, Graeme and Turbo embrace our metrosexual sides and head along to The Bon Vivant’s Companion to be taught a lesson in cocktail making by Monkey Shoulder Ambassador Dean Callan. We sat down to an impressive arrangement of 19th century torture tools… I mean cocktail instruments (see below)… and we were guided through each of their uses whilst sipping some Monkey Shoulder. Now, for those who aren’t acquainted with Monkey Shoulder, it’s a triple malt (consisting of Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie single malt whisky) and derives its name from the shoulder injury suffered by the maltmen who turned the malting barley using a large wooden spade, called a ‘shiel’. The vast majority of distilleries now have machines which do this but Balvenie remains one of the few places where this is still performed by real human beings.

In the cosy surroundings of the function room underneath The Bon Vivant’s Companion, and using Monkey Shoulder as the base for our cocktails, we were soon stirring, shaking and swizzling like there was no tomorrow! Dean led the way and showed us step by step how to make everything from an Old Fashioned to a Monkey Jam Sour. We then had a go at making them (and of course, sampling them) for ourselves. What a great way to spend an otherwise uneventful Tuesday evening! Big thanks go to Olivier and Dean for hosting us and for showing us how to really impress our friends the next time we throw a dinner party. They’ll be holding more of their cocktail bootcamps in London during London Cocktail Week in the middle of October. If you fancy joining them then visit their Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest info and check out this video to get a taste of what’s in store!


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