Upshot Whiskey finally finished barrelling at the Whipper Snapper Distillery about a week ago. I'd been in for a tour back in 2014, when they'd just started filling their third barrel. We tasted their moonshine and a couple of the experiments they were barrelling in much smaller casks. Things were promising, but not yet amazing. I took home a bottle of Moonshine and used it as a sort of rum-vodka hybrid. I didn't know that I'd somehow made it onto their mailing list, but was nonetheless delighted to hear years later that the Whiskey was bottled.
And it's Brilliant! It's like a really robust Bourbon, with whatever magic is instilled by the inclusion local ingredients (I was skeptical about this part back on the first visit, but Hippocampus' wonderful Vodka has since changed my mind). By design it's something you can give to a first time drinker, or to a seasoned bourbon connoisseur, and please them both.
So to celebrate a whiskey which is more than the sum of its parts, why not a cocktail which does the same?
Every time I make a mint Julep I can't believe how simple they are. Mint, whiskey, sugar, crushed ice. They're more delicious than they deserve to be, still unmistakeably bourbon but light, summery and incredibly easy to drink.
The Mint Julep is a drink from the American South around the eighteenth century. The ability to provide Juleps to guests was somewhat of a status symbol as it inferred that the host had the wealth to buy ice, or owned an ice house; that they could afford the silver cups they were served in, and that they had staff with the skill to make one. Originally you were just as likely to be offered a julep made of brandy or genever, but modern Mint Juleps are almost always bourbon.
The Mint Julep
1.5 Oz Upshot Australian Whiskey (Or any bourbon)
0.5Oz Simple Syrup
8 Mint leaves for muddling (Plus three more for garnish)
Muddle the syrup with 8 mint leaves in a julep or highball cup
Fill with crushed ice and 1.5Oz Whiskey
Garnish with 3 Mint Leaves
A couple of years ago it was pretty easy to find Siphon, Plunger and Aeropress coffee around Perth. Now it's pretty much all Pourover and Batch. I can't really be too upset by this, because I've started doing the same thing at home. Variety is lovely, but my V60 makes consistent and lovely coffee, and I cleans up in seconds. The latter is a big plus on busy days— I couldn't bare to leave grounds lingering in the filter of my French Press, and the cloth filter on my Siphon is treated with utmost dignity. But my Pourovers are hardier. The filter gets thrown in the bin, the V60 gets thrown in the dishwasher. All I worry about is drinking the coffee.
For this recipe you will need:
Fast and reliable scales
A 1-2 Cup Hario V60 (Or similar small pourover device)
A Gooseneck Kettle
A coffee grinder
250g of 97° Water
15g of filter Coffee, ground like sugar
Rinse the filter, discard water, and fill filter with ground coffee.
Pour 70g coffee in a circular motion, and stir the coffee bed until you can see the wet grounds.
Continue pouring until you've poured all 250g of water
Coffee should stop dripping around 2:00-2:20. If not, adjust the grinder accordingly for next time.
The recipe I use was taught to me by the indomitable Sam Robins from Felix & Co. He was the one who suggested using Thankyou Water, which according to science I don't fully understand, has a very close to perfect mineral content to pull the best flavours out of your coffee. This recipe uses agitation a la Scott Rao, for consistency and evenness of extraction. After finishing pouring. This recipe calls for stirring to speed up the extraction. Matt Perger very lightly lifts the V60 and drops it, to a similar effect in this video.
It works for any filter coffee, but today I'm using a Yirgacheffe Heirloom coffee roasted by Humblebee.