Thursday, 23 October 2014

Monkey's Shoulder

London Cocktail Week Glaswegian style

At London Cocktail Week 2014, many spirit brands set up pop up bars at Seven Dials. Monkey's Shoulder, a triple blended Malt Scotch is well known for its fun and creative events, last year the Popcorn Flip event and DIY kitchen was truly one of the most unforgettable events with pop corn flying left and right! This year team Monkey took a different approach with "The Cowbell" pop up, it has been 6 months in the making, brought to you from the winner of The Ultimate Bartender Challenge.

The Ultimate Bartender Challenge turns traditional cocktail competitions on their head, creating an inclusive event designed for bartenders to work as a team and compete not just to create a one off cocktail, but to create an entire bar. Speed of service, cocktail quality, hosting ability, and even the ability to carry out the stocktake efficiently, were all measured. In the end the Cowebell team became the winner and awarded the chance to create the Monkey's Shoulder pop up bar at London Cocktail Week.

Run by the three-member team Stuart Bale, Abigail Clephane and Ervin Trykowski, their concept bar took inspiration from the cheeky and playful Saturday Night Live skit 'More Cowbell'. The concept is all about bringing a Glaswegian party vibe and sense of fun with cowbell karaoke, pallet tables, festooned with lighting and an eclectic mix of house and classic hits plus served scotch cocktails that matched their sense of humour. I was in love with the special whisky Pina Colada from White Lyan, it was so clean and soft but managed to retain all the character of the whisky, it was easily the best Pina Colada I've ever tasted!

I've got to say the Cowbell pop up was a smash hit, the team really had taken whisky based cocktails to a whole new level, while I love all the classics such as sour and old fashioned, the Cowbell team actually came up with something brand new in terms of uses of ingredients and combination with great results. Whisky has always been seen as an old man's drink but brands like Monkey's Shoulder managed to inject so much energy and fun into the category to make it trendy and approachable. If you ask me to think of a Scotch brand that has the most "hip" factor, look no further than Monkey Shoulder's.

For more information on Monkey Shoulder Whisky:

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