The Whisky Shop Dufftown Speyside Spirit Cocktail Competition

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You cannot deny the growing trend for using single malt whisky in a cocktail.  This is really about cocktails coming of age.  Invented to use ingredients to hide the taste of poorly produced and bad tasting alcohol, cocktails are now focusing on the flavour that the base-line spirit gives to the drink.  So why not use single malts?  The best of all spirits.

We have been inspired by the Facebook posts from Tales of the Cocktail in NOLA so we at The Whisky Shop Dufftown have decided to jump on the cocktail band wagon and we are launching today a competition to find the best cocktail using a spirit from the Speyside whisky region. And what better time than when Tales of the Cocktail is on in NOLA.  You might get some inspiration from there!!!  You are just as likely to be inspired by Dufftown though.  Hurricanes and distilleries aside, Dufftown has so much in common with New Orleans.  A walk down Fife Street and you could be on Bourbon Street.  And the Stuart Arms, well it is difficult to say who copied whom but just think the Carousel Bar & Lounge in the Hotel Monteleone!

Carousel Bar


The winner will get a £250 voucher to spend in the shop.  The winning cocktail will be announced at The Whisky Shop Dufftown Autumn Festival.

To get you in the mood here is our Speyside cocktail - Forres Skyline.

  • 1 measure of Benromach 10 Years Old 100 Proof
  • 1 measure of Woodford Reserve Double Oak
  • 1 measure of dry Vermouth
  • 1 measure of sweet Vermouth
  • A couple of generous dashes of orange bitters
  • A twist of orange peel

Place the ingredients except the peel into a shaker.  Add a few cubes of ice and stir.  We do not want this too cold or with too much water. Strain the mixture into a martini glass and add the peel.

We have obviously been inspired by a classic Manhattan and we have meddled with it in the same way the skyline of Forres is just a twist on the Manhattan skyline.  Especially if you are looking at it from the roof of Benromach distillery while standing on your head blindfolded.

We think the balanced smoke of the Benromach gives an extra kick to this drink and the flavours of the Benromach and the Woodford interact nicely with the orange elements.  Smoky Manhattans have been around for a while but we think this is much more complex than any we have had before.

Here are the rules:

  1. The drink must be a cocktail i.e. a mixture of 3 or more liquids.
  2. The cocktail must contain at least one measure of a Speyside spirit.
  3. We need to be able to make it - I know some of you are just wanting to use meldon berries from the Serengeti picked at dawn on the summer equinox to flavour Dalmore Constellation 1964. But lets face it, if we cannot reasonably get the ingredients, and that means generally available at reasonable cost, we ain't gonna make it.
  4. It needs to be judged better than Forres Skyline by our panel of willing judges.
  5. It needs to have a great name as that is all part of the fun and come with a short piece about why it works for you.
  6. The entry must come with a detailed recipe and instructions plus a picture.

The rules have been deliberately worded.

Please get your entries in by 1 September 2015 by email to


Cocktail Competition Photo 1 v2