Category Archives: whisky

Jam Sour



If the classic smoky, tangy whiskey sour is your favourite winter tipple, then the jam sour – essentially a whisky sour with (you guessed it!) jam and soda – is all set to become your favourite summer drink. Sure, jam in a cocktail sounds a bit weird, but the breakfast martini contains marmalade, and it’s a classic, so why the hell not use jam in a whisky-based drink? The jam gives it a sweet roundedness that highlights the whiskey’s smokiness, and the soda lightens up the whole shebang and gives it a refreshing vibe, lifting it out of the moodily lit lounge room and into the sunshine. So what are you waiting for – go jam one in your cakehole!


2tsp apricot jam

20ml fresh lemon juice

5ml sugar syrup

50ml whiskey (I used Johnnie Walker)

1 dash orange bitters

soda water, to top up

lime slice, to garnish


Old-fashioned or other short tumbler


Add the jam, lemon juice and sugar syrup to a shaker and shake really hard. Add whiskey and orange bitters, plus enough ice cubes to half-fill the shaker, and shake even harder. Fine-strain into a glass that’s about a third full of ice. Top with soda, garnish and serve.


Adapted from Dan Murphy’s Cocktail Discovery Guide (edition 2), which suggests you use a Collins glass and a grapefruit garnish, and whichever jam you fancy (but not an actual jam fancy, since that is a biscuit, and while adding jam to a cocktail sounds weird enough, adding a biscuit would probably just be gross).


Tagged ,

Spiced Agave Old Fashioned



This is such a modern version of an Old Fashioned that it should probably have another name, but apart from that I can’t fault it. And, like a traditional Old Fashioned, it lends itself to lots of variations. Use reposado (aged for at least two months) or añejo (aged for at least 12 months) tequila and you’ll get a light, flavoursome cocktail that conjures up images of autumn bonfires at sunset; there’s a bit of baking spice in there, some smokiness, and a sweetness that verges on burnt caramel but is balanced out by earthy overtones. Use whisky instead of tequila for a more straightforward, wintery drink, or go with rye whisky for a gingerbready flavour hit that’ll become your new go-to drink before you’ve got halfway through it.


60ml tequila, whisky or rye whisky

10ml spiced agave syrup (recipe follows)

2 dashes Angostura bitters

orange peel twist, to garnish (optional)

cinnamon stick, to garnish (optional)


Old-fashioned or tumbler


First, make the spiced agave syrup (recipe below).

Next, measure 10ml spiced agave syrup into a heatproof cup. Add about 10-20ml boiling water and stir to dissolve the syrup. You’re doing this because agave syrup tends to form a clump and not mix well when you add it to ice and spirits; but if you dilute it just a bit, it works fine. Wait for it to cool a bit before using it in the cocktail – otherwise it’ll just melt the ice.

Add the cooled and dissolved syrup, spirit of choice and bitters to a mixing glass that’s half-full of ice. Stir well, then strain into an old-fashioned glass that’s half-full of ice. Garnish with the orange peel twist and cinnamon stick, if desired.


200ml agave syrup (there are two kinds available, light and dark. I used light. According to the label on the bottle, the dark kind has a ‘wilder, earthier’ flavour.)

2 cinnamon quills

2 star anise

pinch of freshly ground white pepper


Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Infuse for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. Allow to cool, then remove star anise and cinnamon and pour into a sterilised glass jar or bottle. According to the recipe book, it should keep in the fridge for about two weeks, but I’ve kept mine in the pantry for about that long with no problems. I also left the cinnamon sticks in the jar, in the hope they’d balance out the slightly-too-strong star anise flavour – which they did.


Both these recipes are in a little booklet called Simply Perfect Cocktails by Gee David. I’m not sure if it’s available for sale, sorry – my copy was included as a freebie as part of an order of spirits and syrups from Barware.


Tagged , , , , , ,