Editor’s Note: This product was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
In one of the most amusing historical “questions to the editor” segments I’ve read, on May 13, 1806, a reader of a New York newspaper The Balance, and Columbian Repository, made possibly the earliest known reference to the Old Fashioned cocktail, and “cocktails” in general. I will leave it unedited for your enjoyment, though undoubtedly my editor will have some thoughts about that:
“I have heard of a forum, of phlegm-cutter and fog driver, of wetting the whistle, of moistening the clay, of a fillip, a spur in the head, quenching a spark in the throat, of flip &c, but never in my life, though have lived a good many years, did I hear of cock tail before. Is it peculiar to a part of this country? Or is it a late invention? Is the name expressive of the effect which the drink has on a particular part of the body?” The editor replied, “Cock tail, then is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters. It is vulgarly called a bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said also, to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because, a person having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else.”
Aside from being desperately curious about what a “phlegm-cutter” was (on further research, it’s slang for a drink of strong alcohol, often in the morning), I was fascinated that the drink is still tremendously popular over 200 years later, preceding the invention of the telephone, the lightbulb, the steamboat, photography, the car, and potentially even railways.
We review The Glenlivet Twist & Mix Old Fashioned Cocktail, which comes as a 375ml bottle of The Glenlivet single malt Scotch with a cap that is used to turn the full bottle into an Old Fashioned with a simple twist. (image via The Glenlivet)
Well, at least humans are consistent with their priorities.
So, it is somewhat unsurprising that The Glenlivet selected the Old Fashioned cocktail as one of the two products (the other is the New Manhattan) to release in their new Twist & Mix cocktail line. The cocktail comes as a 375ml bottle of The Glenlivet single malt Scotch with a cap that is used to turn the full bottle into an Old Fashioned with a simple twist, thanks to something called Vessl technology, a neat device which preserves the cocktail ingredients in the cap, under pressure of nitrogen gas. Twist the cap, and the ingredients release (they have a nifty video if you’re curious).
Due to the pandemic-era rise of cocktails to go, it is no surprise that Pernod Ricard USA (the parent company of The Glenlivet) wants to crack into the RTD (ready-to-drink) market that will enjoy a 6% annual growth over the next 10 years, expected to have a value of over $33 billion by 2033.
In their own words, “With this new innovative product, we are inspiring people to enjoy single malt scotch whisky in more occasions and providing a solution to meet consumer demand for high quality, freshly mixed cocktails that are easy to serve and enjoy with friends and family,” says Johan Radojewski, Vice President of Marketing.
I found, with a quick twist of the cap, that your single malt bottle is transformed into a sweet, and a touch smoky, quality Old Fashioned. While not quite the most extravagant version of the drink I’ve had, it has a nice bitter flare (orange bitters should I hazard a guess) and is not overly sweet. It does well after some ice has cooled it down and expressing an orange slice over it gives a nice freshness.
A steal at $19.99 and perfect for holiday parties or family gatherings, The Glenlivet Twist & Mix Old Fashioned is a classy, well-balanced, RTD cocktail that will be enjoyed by any whiskey fan. Just make sure you have enough people (or interest) to drink the whole thing within two weeks.
I am a Portland area attorney whose career has dovetailed with a love of fine spirits and cigars. With no formal training in the field, my own interest spurred a thorough education through books, articles, visits to distilleries all over the United States, and a few deep dives into Wikipedia....