Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Wild Hibiscus Project: Part 2

A little while back I got asked to create a drink for the Wild Hibiscus company. I created a variation on the classic sidecar and I simply called the “Hibiscus Sidecar”.  Well the challenge has been set again by the people at Wild Hibiscus. This time the task was to create a beer cocktail.

When creating this drink, I decided to take some inspiration from living and working in Scotland. So I began playing around with mixing beer with scotch whisky.  Choosing your whisky to mix beer with can be tough as there are so many different varieties of malts around. I needed a scotch that would work well with the sweet hibiscus flavours. I decided to go with the Laphroiag 10 year old malt whisky. The Laphroiag has got strong bold smokey flavours, which is needed when mixing it with the sweet hibiscus syrup and strong flavours of the beer. This mix alone was not to bad, but I felt that there was something missing. The cocktail needed a slight spicy kick. But not chilli or pepper, something which would go well with the scotch and still not over power the other ingredients. The answer was ginger. A pinch of ground ginger mixed in with the hibiscus syrup was exactly what I needed to give this drink the a spicy after taste.

I named this concoction “A beautiful hollow by hibiscus bay”.  The name Laphroiag is a gaelic word meaning “A beautiful hollow by broad bay”. Laphroiag whisky is arguably one of the most well known of Scotland's whiskies world wide. So it seemed appropriate to base the name of this drink around the famous Laphroaig name.

So now we’ve gotten our ingredients, we’ve gotten a name for this drink, It’s time to make it. Start with your beer glass and add a pinch of ground ginger. Then add 25ml Wild Hibiscus syrup. Stir this mix together, making sure that all of the ginger has been dissolved in the syrup. Now add 25ml Laphroiag whisky. Give this a quick stir too. Now add your favourite Lager. I’ve left the choice of beer open, as certain beers can be hard to find depending on where you are from. I’ve chosen to use Tennents Lager, a local beer brewed in Glasgow. But any lager will do. The beer is not meant to take centre stage in this drink, it’s mainly about the combination of Hibiscus and whisky. The beer is just what binds it all together. Once you’ve topped your glass with your beer, the garnish (which is entirely optional) is a slice of ginger and a hibiscus flower (you’ll need tooth picks to hold them together on the rim of your glass).

If your not a big scotch whiskey drinker, then this drink is probably not for you. But I’ve made this cocktail without the scotch and beer with ginger and hibiscus syrup is quite sweet and refreshing.

“A Beautiful Hollow By Hibiscus Bay”

In a Beer Glass:
A Pinch of Ground Ginger
25ml Wild Hibiscus Syrup
Stir until ginger is dissolved
25ml Laphroiag 10 year old
Top with Beer
Garnish: Slice of Ginger and Wild Hibiscus flower

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