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Whiskey Cocktail Hour: Monkey See, Monkey Blue

It’s been a minute since we’ve done a Scotch cocktail around here, and Monkey Shoulder is one of my favorites to mix with. Monkey Shoulder is a fantastic blended malt whisky, comprised primarily of single malts from Balvenie, Kininvie, and Glenfiddich. It’s a bartender favorite for a reason, it’s approachable, it’s reasonably priced, and it’s infinitely mixable.

When I think of monkeys, the very first thing I think of is bananas. And this whiskey has notes of banana for me. There’s also some lovely honey and orange as well that come through, so I wanted to play off of those by adding a bit of banana liqueur and some orange liqueur, by way of my favorite thing to add to a cocktail whenever possible, blue curaçao. For those that are unfamiliar with my obsession with blue curaçao, please see this summer’s Japanese whisky cocktail I made for Father’s Day.

Unlike that tiki-style drink from the summer, I wanted this one to be spirit-forward, so I chose a bit of sherry to balance out the sweet notes and I’m not at all mad about it. The resulting drink had a delicious balance of maltiness, sweetness, and light notes of citrus. It feels like a sophisticated treat and the color made it so much more fun. It requires a few things you may not have just lying around on your bar cart, but I hope you’ll enjoy this one when you need to switch things up from your normal old fashioned or manhattan routine. Cheers!

Monkey See, Monkey Blue
Monkey See, Monkey Blue (image via Emily Ross-Johnson/The Whiskey Wash)

Monkey See, Monkey Blue

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass. Express orange peel over drink and toss it in, discard it, or make a pretty banana one like I did.

Emily Ross-Johnson

Emily is a bit of a Jane of All Trades. She started her career as an opera singer in NYC, and over time gravitated to the Food & Beverage Industry. Over the span of her professional life she has performed at Carnegie Hall, founded her own Whiskey Society, represented numerous spirit brands and managed multiple successful bar programs. She loves creating and photographing beautiful drinks and sharing them with others.

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