Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reverse Subverse – Monkey Shoulder Underground Sydney 2013

One very large bottle of Monkey Shoulder was up for grabs.
First I need to say sorry this is such a belated post. Like really belated! Earlier this year, Feb 26th 2013, some of the D.T.W.C. members had the opportunity to attend the Monkey Shoulder Underground: Reverse Subverse event. Held at The Cell Block Theatre (National Arts School), Forbes Street, Darlinghurst, we were greeted on entry to a rather spectacular building. Formally the women’s wing of the Old Darlinghurst Gaol from 1841 to 1920, now gutted and utilised for various events, shows, and presentations. I am sure in it's day it was a grim sight to have been taken into its walls.

The Cocktail Bootcamp
Subverse Reverse was the theme so of course on entering we were provided with a neat 50ml sample as a take away. Forget giving it to us on exit the theme called for it now. Inside there was a bar on the right, cocktails on tap, a make your own Monkey Shoulder Old Fashioned mixing station named Cocktail Bootcamp, arcade games towards the back and giant inflated boxing ring in the centre. It was clear that 'To Have Fun' was the intent and purpose of the evening.

That Taco Taxi just kept coming and coming!
With waiters handing out cocktails by the jar full, literally, it was time to just relax. I am not one for cocktails but these were surprisingly good and I found myself downing them like Monica Lewinsky in a presidential suite. Keeping with the Subverse Reverse theme we saw an array of various food stuffs from sweets through to savouries (in that order) dished out by the tray full all night. By far my fav was the Taco Taxi stand weaving it's way around the event and always with a line up 4 bodies deep. I learnt not to chase and rather stand still and it would finally pop up in front of me. We need more of these in every day life.

Though the building was fantastic, ere on the side of warning if you wish to choose this location for your own event. The Cell Block does not bode well in the middle of summer. With such poor ventilation, increasing humidity gave way to an outright sauna. I would say 65.87% of guests spent most of the evening outside in adjacent gardens. It really got hot in here, but unlike taking the advice of Nelly, no one was taking off their clothes. A lot of action was seen in the ring while a couple of us gave up to a few rounds on the Daytona circuit. The only time we could drink and drive.

Punch Ups, Daytona, and Pin Balls
Monkey Shoulder is classified as a Blended Malt Scotch Whisky. In old speak this is a Vatted Malt, combining 3 Speyside Single Malt Whiskies. As Monkey Shoulder is owned by William Grant & Sons  I am assuming this is a blending of Glenfiddich, Balvenie and the Kininvie Distillery all located in Speyside and all producing malts.

In an interview I did at Monkey shoulder on the night (slipping on my celebrity skin) I was asked to give Monkey Shoulder a rating out of 10 for a blended malt (Vatted Malt). My answer was a 6 out of 10. It makes for a great blending whisky in cocktails no question but as a sipping whisky it falls well short of the mark. Really though can you question that in any way? I do not think so. Monkey Shoulder is marketed as a gimmicky, playful whisky, its price point in Aus is below $40, while the packaging and branding is well on the low budget side. As a brand though its marketing budget in events, posters, and adverts is well and truly above just about anything else seen in this country for a whisky.

The general feel of the night
Monkey Shoulder makes for a great mixing whisky and I personally think cocktails is where it sits comfortably in the whisky market. If I was to recommend a blended malt for a mixer then it has certainly been this one.

Overall it was a great night and good show. Food was abundant and of a good quality which is exactly what you need on a hot night downing more than a few cocktails and straight up whiskies. Well done to all and thanks to Steve at Weber Shandwick for the invite. Hope to go again if the chance comes around.

The Baron

Note: Below is how to mix the various cocktails I believe we had on the night.

Monkey Shoulder Old Fashioned

60ml Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Whisky
10ml of sugar syrup**
4ml of Angostura bitters

Add all ingredients to old fashioned (rocks) glass with ice.
Stir until desired dilution is reached.

Twist of orange, cherry and orange slice

Apes And Apples

A simple yet refreshing ‘sessionable’ whisky drink

45mL Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Whisky
4-6 mint leaves (fresh)
90mL sparkling apple juice (e.g. Cascade)

Smack mint to release flavour and place in a highball glass.
Add Monkey Shoulder. Fill with ice.
Top with sparkling apple juice. Stir.

Mint sprig

Upper Cut Punch

250mL Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Whisky
250mL Lemon juice
250mL Raspberry Jam syrup (1/3 raspberry jam + 1/3 sugar + 1/3 water + dash of orange bitters)
75mL Amantillado sherry (or similar sherry)
1L Soda water

Add all ingredients to punch bowl.
Once dilution is reached... serve (punch bowl with cups).

Mint sprigs, fruits and berries in season.

Knock Out Punch

300mL Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Whisky
150mL Peach Tea Syrup (1/2 Strong Peach Tea, 1/2 Sugar)
150mL Lemon juice
150mL Apricot Nectar
250mL Soda water

Add all ingredients to punch bowl.
Once dilution is reached... serve (punch bowl with cups).

Orange wheel and mint sprig.

Round House Punch

250mL Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Whisky
100mL Brandy (VS cognac)
150mL Lemon juice
50ml Five Spice Syrup (1:1 Sugar Syrup, 5 spice powder)
50mL Monin coconut syrup
400mL Green Tea

Add all ingredients to punch bowl.
Once dilution is reached... serve (punch bowl with cups).

Fruits and berries in season.

Monkey Jam Sour

50ml Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Whisky
20ml lemon juice
2 tsp jam (fig, strawberry, orange)
½ of one egg white
2 dashes Orange bitters
Dash of sugar syrup* to taste

Add all ingredients to shaker. Shake well with ice.
Double strain into a rocks glass.

Orange wedge

Malt Jockey

45ml Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Whisky
30mL Sweet vermouth
10mL Maraschino liqueur
3 dashes Chocolate bitters

Add ingredients to mixing glass (shaker).
Fill with ice. Stir for 15-20 seconds.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Twist of orange

D.T.W.C. was invited as a guest this event. All views and opinions are our own unless otherwise stated.

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