I like whisky. In fact I bloody love the stuff. There I have said it. In fact I feel a little light headed and can almost imagine an imaginary weight being lifted off my shoulders. No my friends I am not sat in a community meeting room with weak instant coffee and stale biscuits (I think you know what type of meeting I am referring to?) I am in fact reading the latest edition of Hot Rum Cow, which is currently dealing with a brief, but cask strength, history of whisky. ‘Hot Rum Cow, what’s that?’ I hear you ask? Great question …
Hot Rum Cow is a relatively recent magazine that explores the wonderful world of drinking. Founded in 2012, each issue takes its cue from a particular beverage. What I love about this magazine is that it is written by people who simply enjoy a nice tipple. We are not dealing with booze connoisseurs who are ‘experts’, and perhaps naturally predisposed to drink snobbery, nay this is a magazine for people who, like me, take pleasure in the simple appreciation of a good, hard earned drink.
Whilst there are several articles of significant interest, my point could not be illustrated better than the magazine’s ‘Find your style guide: whisky mixers’. This deals with the difficult question of what, if anything, to mix your whisky with. WARNING – speak to the wrong person on this subject and you will be lucky to get a drop of water as an option! To make things easy for us, Hot Rum Cow put a bottle of Monkey Shoulder through its paces by adding some unusual pairings to see what worked well and what can be disregarded for all of time. Options ranged from the seemingly sensible alcoholic ginger, to the slightly odd oak aged beer and then to the rather bizarre Vimto, with several stop offs in between. Whilst the results were surprising, and in parts unbelievable, it was enough to inspire me to take on a similar endeavour (purely for scientific research!). That in mind I reached for what I thought would be the most pliable whisky that I had on my shelf and settled on Makers Mark. The mixers in question were Irn Bru, Dr. Pepper, Vimto and Orangina. I summoned what little memory I had of GCSE science to remember that I needed a ‘control’ drink and settled on wee dram by itself.
Well what followed was a rather amusing taste extravaganza. It is not often I sit down and knock back five or so measures of whisky but I did rather enjoy the experiment. The final conclusions, for me, were not as fun as the journey of discovery! For the benefit of those reading this blog, Orangina was a surprise winner! I could bore you with my own thoughts on different mixers, but somehow that feels like I would be taking the fun away from others who might be similarly inspired to attempt this experiment themselves!
Whilst reading through the rest of the magazine, I can’t help but feel there is a feeling of an underlining gritty urban appeal, a sort of we don’t give a f*ck because they know some people will love this magazine and they don’t really care about those who don’t. Fraser Allen, Hot Rum Cow’s publisher puts this feeling best, “Who wants an average reader? We love our readers – they’re so much better than average”. Well this reader can’t help but be flattered; ladies and gentleman I am well and truly won over! Hot Rum Cow, count me in!