Award-winning bartender Tom Walker of The American Bar at The Savoy in London has collaborated with Scotch whisky Dewar’s to create “heritage” recipes with a contemporary twist.
He has come up with the Dewar’s True Scotch collection of cocktails for serving in the hotel bar and for other bartenders and consumers to re-create.
Tom researched classic recipes which could be made with Dewar’s and adapted with modern ingredients, techniques and garnishes. They include twists on a Rickey, Scofflaw, Rob Roy, Old Fashioned and Whisky Sour.
Tommy Dewar, who developed Dewar’s into a global name in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, lived at The Savoy for 26 years and was a regular guest in the bar.
Tom said: “The Dewar’s True Scotch collection was inspired by a cocktail-making ideology of ‘imaginative simplicity’ that is synonymous with the era and style of Harry Craddock – one of the most famous cocktail barmen of the 1920s and 1930s, who tended The American Bar when Tommy Dewar resided here at The Savoy when building works commenced on his former property at St James’s Street.
“Like Harry’s, the cocktails in this collection are classically styled and each can be traced back to some of the most iconic Scotch cocktails ever created, including the Rob Roy, Old Fashioned and Whisky Sour.
“However, each has an imaginative and untraditional twist that gives this collection of Dewar’s cocktails a completely contemporary edge.”
The collaboration with Tom follows a redesign of the packaging by brand owner Bacardi, inspired by the whisky’s heritage dating back to 1846.
The whisky’s story is expressed in every detail, from the bold colours, stoppers and seals to the bespoke typeface, which were all inspired and sourced from the extensive brand archive in Scotland.
The most distinctive feature of the new Dewar’s look is the trefoil Celtic truth knot that has been embossed onto the glass of every bottle. Reflecting the brand’s strength and longevity, it shows three interlocking Ds that represent the three founders who first created the whisky – John Dewar and his sons, John Alexander Dewar and Tommy.
The recipes are as follows, with US measures.
Tom said: “This is a riff on the Scofflaw – a cocktail originally made with American whiskey. The serve reflects a time when blended Scotch started to become popular in the USA, mainly thanks to the work of Tommy Dewar, at the end of the 19th century. This was the same time that a liquor tax under the guise of ‘Raines Law’ was also introduced.”
2oz Dewar’s White Label
3/4oz Lemon juice
3/4oz Noilly Prat dry vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and blend to emulsify the ingredients. Add ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.
Tom said: “This takes inspiration from the Malecon, a drink by Erik Lorincz [head bartender at The American Bar]. The Rubicon is a Scotch Sour made with completely untraditional ingredients, specifically the lime and port. The bitters give the drink length, and the egg white provides body and texture. The name is a reference to the crossover into using alternative ingredients, and thus creating an alternative Whisky Sour.”
2oz Dewar’s 12 Year Old
3/4oz Lime juice
3/4oz Dow’s Fine Ruby Port
1/2oz Sugar syrup
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and blend to emulsify the ingredients. Add ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupette. Serve “naked”.
Raeburn Rickey (pictured with Tom)
Tom said: “The name of this drink chimes with the surging popularity of classic Scotch cocktails named after famous national luminaries, such as the Rob Roy and Bobby Burns. This time our luminary is Henry Raeburn – a Scottish portrait painter that Tommy Dewar favoured. The use of lime and Drambuie create a drink that is refreshing and rich in equal measure.”
1 1/2oz Dewar’s White Label
3/4oz Lime juice
1/4oz Simple syrup
Add the first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake hard but briefly, and strain into a Collins glass. Top up with soda, garnish with a sprig of mint and a lime wedge and serve.
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