Whisky Mac, formerly known as Whisky MacDonald, has its roots in British India where Colonel Hector MacDonald concocted this beverage. In 1899, the colonel proposed a demarcation between China and British India with a border. There was unrest after this demarcation which was followed by a breakout of cholera. Owing to medicinal properties of ginger, ginger wine gained wide popularity. Ginger, apart from being a digestif, brought relief to the cholera patients. Combining his love for whisky and the medicinal benefits of ginger, the colonel came up with the unusual Whisky Mac, which the men in uniform preferred to unwind with after a grueling day at the border.
Traditionally, Whisky Mac was served neat. If you want to serve it with crushed ice, it’s best to strain the concoction into a drinking glass after adding ice. This ensures that the liquid is chilled but not too diluted by the melting ice, which might bring changes to the flavor and thereby change the taste.
Interestingly, this cocktail is also referred to as the “Golfer’s favorite”. During winters, after a chilly round at the course golfers drink Whisky Mac. This helps ward off the chill and keeps the body warm. The hot version of Whisky Mac (by adding hot water) is the absolute spirit when the temperatures dip.
Mix your own Whisky Mac
The quality of Whisky Mac depends on the Scotch being used. Usually, a blended scotch is the best choice. The ginger wine which you use should be green ginger wine. On the cold days add more of whisky and less of wine in the concoction.
Alternatively, you can either use equal parts of whisky and wine or combine 60 ml of blended Scotch whisky and 30 ml of green ginger wine. Put these ingredients in an ice-filled glass and stir it lightly. You can serve this cocktail without ice as well.
Steer clear of smoke-flavored Scotch as the peat or smokiness does not combine well with ginger. The two strong flavors clash.
A drink named after a prima donna of an opera company from Ontario, supremely popular in the 1900s but forgotten in the coming years, that’s Mamie Taylor for you. The very popular singer-actress, Mamya Taylor is rumoured to have requested a ‘long, hard drink’ after one of her performances at a downtown bar. And the bartender in charge was only too eager to please the princess.
When the Austrian maestro, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composed a comic opera by the name of The Marriage of Figaro in 1786, he took inspiration from Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais’s 1784 play of the same name. Little did he know that it’d find a namesake in a suave whisky cocktail.
You may have been saved from terrible hangovers if you have always followed the “liquor before beer” advice. But, then you have inevitably missed out on some of the best bomb shots. For all the risk takers out there, here’s a tip: try the Irish Car Bomb. The Irish Car Bomb, unlike any other cocktail, is a drink that welcomes you with a split reputation dictated by nationality entirely.