Cocktail: Elevated Brilliance | Bartender: Meghann Allred

I was originally unsure of the Paul John Whisky when it showed up at my bar. I smelled it, tasted it and was curious but not convinced. Then I added a few drops of water and everything changed! This spirit opened up and told a story of flavor, aroma, and exotic places. Now, I could smell (and taste) the exotic spices of cardamom, coffee, cocoa. Also now, I will talk to anyone willing to listen about this unique Whisky made in the way of Scotch but with all the alluring character of Indian cuisine. I am hooked! Making a cocktail with it was a challenge because now you know how I like to enjoy the Paul John so I figured, why mess with anything but what I love about it? Why not enhance those flavors and aromas and maybe just add some body? So I present to you my enhanced version of a brilliant product: Elevated Brilliance.

Cocktail: Elevated Brilliance | Bartender Atlas

1.5oz Paul John Brilliance Whisky
0.5oz Cardamom Honey Syrup*
0.25oz Lemon Juice
0.25oz Toasted Cocoa Nib/Espresso Brew**

Add all ingredients to a shaker tin. Shake and fine strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with chocolate coated espresso beans.

*Cardamom Honey Syrup (small batch):
2 tablespoons Wildflower Honey (or what you have available)
1 tablespoon Water
1/8 tsp. ground Cardamom

Heat/simmer to loosen and incorporate honey. Cool Mix before fine straining and bottling.

**Toasted Cocoa Nib/Espresso Brew (overnight prep):
Grind 2 tsp cocoa nibs into small pieces (almost powder). Toast in a skillet over med/low heat untill they ‘sweat’/you can smell them. (If they pop you’ve gone too far)
Add this immediately to: 150 ml tepid water and 2 tablespoons of espresso. Stir or whisk to incorporate. Cover and let set at least 4 hours or overnight. Super fine strain liquid off and bottle.

The remaining solids go great in banana bread!

Meghann Allred
I don't necessarily enjoy trying to explain myself or describe myself. I like to be creative and share what I learn with others. I guess that's what makes bartending so appealing and rewarding. Cocktails, wine and spirits hit every sense we have starting with the eyes and ending with taste (hopefully this leaves you wanting more!). I can say with confidence that am a humble but competitive person. This cocktail was submitted to chilled magazine for the #toastyourbartender competition. I got to play with a spirit that I usually would choose to enjoy simply with a little water. I had a lot of fun figuring this tipple out, and if you choose to recreate this I hope you do to!
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