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.
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!