Night out: Johnnie Walker sets bar takeovers

Jeeves de Veyra

Posted at Oct 18 2019 05:05 PM

Ginger, Apple, and Lime Highball. Jeeves de Veyra

MANILA -- Whisky brand Johnnie Walker puts the spotlight on different whiskey cocktails as it sets a series of bar takeovers dubbed JohnnieWeekend.

For its first event, the bartenders of Dulo MNL in Makati's hip Poblacion district highlighted the deceptively simple whiskey highball.

The Highball is to whiskey as the gin and tonic is to gin. It’s a gateway drink meant to introduce a new drinker to the world of whiskey and mixed drinks that use it as a base. 

So, what goes into a perfect highball?

“Essentially, it's all about balance of flavors. It's a combination of weakness and strength from both spirit in the mixing and together with the dilutions of ice. Our recommendation is ratio of one is two, three of a spirit, and one in a mixer,” explained Rian Asiddao, local brand ambassador for Diageo Philippines.

Ponch Ancheta of Shangri-La at the Fort, David Alabayan of Oto, and Rian Asiddao of Diageo Philippines. Jeeves de Veyra

Poch Ancheta from Shangri-La at the Fort’s speakeasy The Backroom showed off some basic recipes: Johnnie and Lime, which was made with a lemon lime soda, with its sweet-sour flavor tempering the Johnnie Walker Black Label’s smokiness; and Johnnie and Ginger, which had the sweet spice of ginger ale cutting through the Johnnie Walker Double Black’s intense smokiness. 

Ancheta also prepared what could be considered as a dessert highball -- Johnnie and Apple, a refreshingly sweet cocktail with apple juice and the honey notes of the Johnnie Walker Gold Label.

Fresh from Diageo competitions in Amsterdam and Glasgow, David Abalayan of Oto, which recently awarded as one of the 50 best bars in Asia, showed off more advanced variants of the highball. His yet unnamed Filipino highball, made with homemade banana liqueur and coconut water, won a lot of raves for its originality and how the flavors complemented the golden caramel of the Johnnie Walker Gold Label.

The highball mixing table. Jeeves de Veyra

Guests were invited to try out their highball mixing skills by choosing from the three Johnnie Walker variants, as well as different mixers like cola, root beer, tonic water, lemon lime soda among others, and garnishes.

The JohnnieWeekend series is a great way to enhance the enjoyment of whiskey and your favorite cocktails. Not only does one get to drink different whiskey preparations, but it also expands one's cocktail horizons by showing what other possible flavor profiles and ingredient combinations are possible.

JohnnieWeekend bar takeovers will be happening in Pasig, Quezon City, BF Homes in Paranaque, Bonifacio Global City, Cebu, and Siargao until December. Please check out Johnnie Walker’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for schedules and more details.