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Distilled – Scapegrace limited-edition single malts released

Our latest round-up of trends from the top shelf, including the UK debut of New Zealand whisky Scapegrace, an overview of aquafaba and the recipe for a Hanky Panky cocktail.

NZ whisky makes UK debut

Central Otago may be best known to Decanter readers for its Pinot Noirs, but the region is also home to Scapegrace distillery. Set up in 2014, Scapegrace plans to launch a signature single malt in 2024, but in the meantime is releasing a small number of limited-edition single malts. ‘We have the natural resources to create some of the best whisky in the world,’ said co-founder Daniel McLaughlin. The range includes: Rise I and Chorus II, both aged in new French oak, for five and three years respectively. Timbre IV is aged in Bulgarian oak for three years. But pick of the bunch is Revenant III (Alc 46%, available from Master of Malt), made using manuka wood-smoked laureate barley and aged in new French oak for three years. Honeyed caramel on a smoky nose, hints of peppery spice; gently smoky palate with notes of dried citrus peel, vanilla toffee and chilli spice, long finish with a waft of woodsmoke. All: Alc 46%, Master of Malt, The Whisky Exchange

What is… aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the water that chickpeas have been cooked in. Why are we mentioning it in the spirits pages? Because thanks to its viscous texture it’s an ideal substitute for egg whites in cocktail recipes. It’s now increasingly used in bars to make vegan versions of drinks: from Pisco Sours and Whisky Sours to the Clover Club and White Lady. Two tablespoons of aquafaba equates to one egg white. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week or can be frozen for up to three months.

What to drink now… Hanky Panky

If Valentine’s Day has you feeling amorous, why not indulge in a little Hanky Panky? This variation on a sweet Martini makes use of Fernet-Branca (an Italian amaro). It’s the first classic cocktail recipe that can be definitively attributed to a female bartender. Ada ‘Coley’ Coleman was head bartender at the American Bar at London’s Savoy hotel in the early 1920s, a time when ‘hanky panky’ meant a magical spell, like ‘hocus pocus’. The recipe calls for a London Dry style of gin: try No3 London Dry Gin by Berry Bros & Rudd. Distilled with just six botanicals, it’s a beautifully balanced gin that works perfectly in Martinis (Alc 46%, Amazon, Asda, Berry Bros & Rudd, Harvey Nichols, Majestic, Ocado, The Whisky Exchange, Waitrose).

Hanky Panky

Ingredients: 45ml London dry gin, 45ml sweet red vermouth, 7.5ml Fernet-Branca

Glass: Martini

Garnish: Orange twist

Method: Put all of the ingredients in a mixing jar with ice and stir to combine. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Zest a twist of orange peel over the top and garnish.

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