Whisky, Craft beer and a local ingredient : Jameson’s Bartenders Ball 2017

Hello Good people!

Last post from Katja was meant to go with a cocktail I made for the parisian round of the Jameson’s Bartenders Ball 2017. The rules of the contest were :

-You have to use a base spirit from the jameson line

-You have to use a craft beer in any form

-You have to use a local ingredient

And so I went to work.

The first thought that went through my mind about Jameson is how accessible the whisky is. It’s smooth, it’s not peaty, and it compliments beer very well.

In a cocktail though, Jameson tends a bit shy on that extra flavor you’re waiting for, making it something I usually prefer to drink straight up or as a chaser. That was until I tried the Jameson Black Barrel.

The black barrel is a classic jameson blend that went into bourbon and sherry casks. Extra treatment is that the barrel have been charred two times, giving an extra roundness that makes the whisky slightly closer to a bourbon.

So, base spirit was chosen. Now with the beer. This one was figured out as soon as I heard “This cocktail has to have craft beer”. No hesitations, I immediately went to grab a bottle of my favorite IPA : the Demory “Intrepide” :

Parisian, hoppy of course, with a nice liquorice aftertaste, it’s pretty much my favorite beer ever.

IPA and black barrel are natural friends. But so far what I had was just a beer and a chaser, hardly a cocktail. I then decided to transform the beer in order to turn my cocktail in an old fashioned style drink.

What I need what a smooth, not foamy, not bubbly form capturing all the essence of the beer, so i went and made a liquor.

For that, just mix the beer with simple syrup (half half) proportions, cook it a bit in a saucepan until it’s not bubbly anymore, then use that mix with vodka (again half half proportions) and let it rest for half a day.

What you get is a syrup with a kick and all the flavor of the beer you love.

The drink was starting to look (and taste) good, but it just needed that fruity extra to make it a more “springy” cocktail instead of a comfy blanket you would snug into on the first cold night of the winter.

To compliment the liquorice aftertaste of the IPA, I chose to use apricot brandy. Problem was even though the apricot worked wonders with the ipa as I predicted, the sweetness of the brandy I had was way too much. No problem. Went back to the liquor drawing board and reduced the simple syrup ratio to 1:5 (meaning 200g of sugar for a liter of water).

Totally did the trick.

Last part : The local ingredient : Salt. Yes I’m from Brittany and salt is a serious thing there. In a cocktail, just a pinch of salt goes a long way and works just as a bitter would, without adding extra herbal taste. That was it. Drink was ready.

To make the drink, all ingredients in a mixing glass, couple of stirs with a bar spoon and it’s good to go. Served on the rocks in an old fashioned glass, it’s the perfect companion either to an summer evening on a terrace or a fireplace comfy chair in the winter.


  • Jameson Black Barrel : 50ml
  • IPA liquor (see recipe above): 30ml
  • Apricot Brandy : 15ml

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