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Closing Off - Whisky Manipulations Hot & Cold

Author: Matt Wooler - Friday, September 23, 2016

Thanks for attending

Saturday 17th September saw our second Whisky Manipulations session for the year at Pocket Bar Darlinghurst. Titled Hot & Cold we teamed up with Sydney Cocktail Club to try 3 Australian whiskies from New Worl Whisky Distillery aka Starward before having these whiskies manipulated into 3 unique cocktails.

 The event began as usual with a signature intro beverage to refresh and cleanse the guests palates. Exploring delicate fresh profiles Pocket Bar whipped up a Pineapple Shrub built on Fever Tree soda water and garnished with cucumber. To the surprise of all it was non-alcoholic yet vibrant, fresh with a little zing balanced against the effervescence of the Fever Tree Soda Water.

Being our journey Inoka from Sydney Cocktail Club wanted to deliver a mystery nip and have people question what they were tasting. Was it gin, was it whisky, was it new make spirit? Effectively it was a bit of all being a Genever style gin produced by New World Whisky Distillery’s Projects series. Genever is classed as the precursor to Gin spirit based on a combination of malt spirit and botanical infused spirit.

Through the journey guests were to experience, we wanted to allow everyone to try each whisky neat in order to truly understand what those whisky characteristics are. Following on from each whisky tasted was a cocktail made specifically to enhance and manipulate those whiskies characteristics. It was a great pleasure to have Dan Molnar of Pocket Bar demonstrate the construction of each cocktail to the audience in order to give a real experience of the magic that happens behind the bar. In order of appearance guests tasted the Starward Solera, Apera Champera Cocktail, Starward Projects PX Sherry Cask, Bobby Burns PX Cocktail, Starward Wine Cask, Wonka’s Wine Hot Chocolate Cocktail.


As we are always keen for a giveaway at our events, one lucky attendee walked home with a copy Diffords Guide to Cocktails Edition 11. This encyclopaedia contains over 3000 cocktails with recipes for each and everyone listed.

We have to say a big thanks to our guests who attended, Sydney Cocktail Club, Pocket Bar Darlinghurst, New World Whisky Distillery and South Trade International for bring this all together.

To get the full visual experience of the evening we have an album over on our facebook page.

See you at our next event.


Whiskies & Cocktails Tasted

Following are Dramnation's personal notes we supply at our tastings. We want to emphasis that we have listed, in many cases, ages for these whiskies even though they do not carry an age statement. This indication is an average only as a means to show how youthful whiskies display strengths and characteristics longer aged whiskies cannot. It is to be expected that these average ages will vary from batch to batch and year to year.

Starward Solera

Distillery: New World Whisky Distillery
Region: Melbourne, Victoria
ABV: 43%
Age: 3 years
Wood: Re-coopered Apera (Australian Sherry) 
Nose: Thick and fruity with caramelised banana depth and oaky char, warm butter grilled banana bread. An edible nose.
Taste: Warm overripe bananas, caramelised brown sugar, bacon fat with an effect of condensed milk sweetness with chewy texture.
Finish: Dry alcohols, hot & buttery with maple syrup textures that says “you want grilled banana pancakes tomorrow”
Other: David Vitale went into creating Starward to be accessible at a target price point. Watch independent bottle shops and the Starward website for the Projects releases. The Projects releases are experimental, often bottled at high proof ABV, with big juicy chewy textures.

Apera Champera - Cocktail

Ingredients: 20ml Starward Solera Single Malt, 10ml Becherovka and top up with ginger ale garnished with dehydrated banana.

Method: Stir whisky and Becherovka in glass and pour into flute before topping it up with Fever Tree Ginger Ale. 

Glass: Champagne Flute

Projects PX Sherry Cask Batch 2 Vintage Cellars Release

Distillery: New World Whisky Distillery
Region: Melbourne, Victoria
ABV: 43%
Age: 2 to 3 years
Wood: Ex-Pedro Ximenez (Spanish Sherry)
Nose: Dried muscatel grapes (the kind you find on cheeseboards), musky oak, ginger and butterscotch toffee.
Taste: Burst of sweetness around the tongue leading into a nutty and slightly peppery punch.
Finish: Slightly drying yet warming with hints of sweet raisins and dark cocoa lingering at the back.
Other: The New World Projects releases are experimental releases. Drawing inspiration from the results of the unknown, it is often a case of “we have never done that before, I wonder what it will taste like. Let’s do it”. These releases are very limited in release and often only purchasable from the distillery and specialist retailers. This release was commissioned by Vintage cellars and saw only 1514 bottles Australia wide.

Bobby Burns PX - Cocktail

Ingredients: 45ml Starward PX, 20ml Oscar697 Vermouth Rosso, 10ml Dom Benedictine, 3 drops Abbotts Bitters, garnish with a fresh cherry.

Method: Shake all ingredients and strain into chilled coupe glass and drop cherry into glass.

Glass: Champagne Coupe

Starward Wine Cask Batch 3
Distillery: New World Whisky Distillery

Region: Melbourne, Australia
ABV: 41%
Age: 3.5 Years approx
Wood: Australian Wine Casks (primarily Shiraz)
Nose: Grapes, bananas, a freshly open packet of raisins, orange peel & malty cereals. 
Taste: Mouth filling with an oily viscosity developing notes of dark chocolate, golden syrup & dry fruits.
Finish: Long, chalky & dry with continued hints of the golden syrup.
Other: Unlike the Aprea casks used in the Starward Solera which are recoopered ($600), the wine casks stay as supplied ($150) making it a much more economical reason to be using wine casks. As the access to sherry casks dries up world wide wine casks will become a primary maturation component. David has remarked that wine casks are very flexible in how they impart flavours and as time has gone on the Starward Wine Cask now has many different types of wine styles influencing the final product.

Wonka’s Wine - Hot Chocolate Cocktail

Ingredients: 30 ml Starward Wine Cask, 30ml of liquid chocolate mix, garnished with fresh raspberry.

Method: Heat both up separately on a gentle heat then combine into a tumbler or heat proof cup and garnish with raspberry.

Glass: Tumbler 

Introduction Beverage

pineapple shrub

Ingredients: Pineapple Shrub (Drinking Vinegar), Fever Tree Soda Water, Cucumber sliced.
To make Pineapple Shrub combine 1/2 part diced fresh pineapple to 1 part sugar muddled together in a sealed jar/ container. Let it sit for about 4-5 days until sugar dissolves stirring the mixture for 10 sec each day. Once dissolved add 1/4 part Apple Cider Vinegar, mix, then strain into another sealed container and refrigerate until use.

Add 15ml Pineapple shrub in a tumbler then fill with ice. Top over with 100ml Fever Tree soda water or until full. Garnish with a fresh sliced cucumber.

Glass: Tumbler

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