Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve & Tim Philips Make a Cocktail

Many drinkers enjoy a whisky on its own, bathing in its glory as was intended by its creator and/or distiller. However, whisky is a key ingredient in some of the most classic of classic cocktails, such as The Manhattan, Rusty Nail or Whisky Sour. So it should come as no surprise that cocktail and bar experts are constantly exploring new and interesting ways to enjoy this age old spirit.

One of those experts is Tim Philips, the newly crowned Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year. Tim has a list of accolades longer than most, a true testiment to his skills behind the bar. In 2011, he placed sixth overall during his first appearance in the Diageo World Class Global final and, in the same year, was named bartender magazine’s ‘Australian Bartender of the Year’. He’s mastered cocktails at Milk & Honey on both sides of the Atlantic and managed their member lodge in Chamonix. Philip’s has also done time at some of New York’s premier cocktail bars and also named UK’s ‘Bartender of the Year’ in 2009.

Teaming up with Johnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Tim developed a fascinating tea based cocktail which throws flavours of maple, lemon and peach against the smoke and oak of the Johnnie Walker Gold. The Chilled Peach Tea has a great conversation with the stone fruit flavours of the Johnnie walker, while the Maple Syrup picks up that oakyness of the Scotch. Here’s the recipe:

‘Flavour is King-Sling’ (1.5 Standard Drinks):

45ml Johnnie Walker Gold
15ml Manuka / Maple Syrup
2 Dash Fee’s Whisky Barrel Bitters
10ml Lemon Juice
45ml Peach Tea (Chilled)

Take all ingredients and cold-smoke them in a teapot. Pour over ice in a 10oz Highball glass.

Tim says, “The smoking element adds a hickory richness and the whisky barrel bitters adds a hint of cinnamon spice. For those wanting to recreate the drink at home try using maple syrup and Angostura Bitters instead of the Whisky Barrel Bitters. Or if you want to taste the drink in all its glory, pop into my my new bar, Bulletin Place, when it opens in January 2013.”

TVG grabbed themselves a bottle of Gold Label and tried this one at home, swapping in the Angostura and Maple Syrup as suggested by Tim. This is a flavoursome, fresh and delicious beverage. The peach tea is subtle, as to not over power the flavour of the whisky. I believe a great cocktail should enhance the flavours of the spirit on which it is based, and this cocktail does just that. The sweetness of the maple is kept under wraps by the 10ml of lemon juice, while the stone fruit tea, as stated above, really lengthens the flavour of the whisky. A great drink and easy to make at home.

Later this year, Tim is taking the plunge and opening his own venue called Bulletin Place in Sydney, which is undoubtedly set to become an Australian institution and will feature some of Tim’s finest creations. He has been consistently acknowledged as one of the most prodigious bartenders to ever come from the land down under.

We are very excited to see Bulletin Place open its doors, and will be sure to give you a comprehensive rundown of the venue once it launches.

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