Frontier Cooler

Frontier Cooler

  • 45mlGinseng Infused Bulleit Rye Whiskey
  • 25ml Malted Honey Syrup
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 3pc Raspberry
  • 1pc Strawberry
  • Top Soda

Muddle strawberries and raspberry in a shaker, and then add remaining ingredients except the soda together with ice into the shaker and shake.  Strain into a highball glass with ice and top with soda.  Garnish with a dried rice stalks and a strawberry.

In the preliminary rounds for the 2016 World Class competition in Hong Kong, contestants were asked to create a drink that was both sessionable, and ideal for summer.  My interpretation of this challenge drew upon my Korean heritage by using ginseng, an ingredient we use in abundance in a particular dish called sam gye tang (삼계탕) otherwise known as ginseng chicken soup.  While most of the western world considers ginseng as a winter vegetable, Koreans have a strange habit of consuming this vegetable, served in a steaming hot bowl of rich soup, in the middle of summer.  The reasoning, as I’ve grown up hearing, is that the dish is designed to make you sweat in excess, thus helping you cool off, much in the way that spicy chilies are consumed in hot countries.  Besides that cultural connection, I needed to create a long drink that was relatively low in alcohol, and had a flavour profile that would not cloy one’s palate.  In that respect, I utilised the bitterness of the ginseng, sweetness of the honey, and acidity of the fruit to create a complex balance of flavours that a drinker would not tire of.  The final product does have an added bonus of being a fantastic drink to complement barbeques, both of a Korean or an American origin.  The fruit, the bitter dryness, the spicy sweetness of the rye, all go hand in hand with the sweetness of typical barbecue marinades.

Ginseng Infused Rye Whisky

  • 750ml Nikka Black Clear Whisky
  • 50g fresh young ginseng

Slice the ginseng into thin slices.  Place with whiskey and let infuse for 18 hours.

Malted Honey Syrup

  • 25g Malted Barley (50% 60L malt, 50% Biscuit Malt)
  • 300g Honey
  • 150g Water

Blitz malt barley in a blender, and then add 150g of  boiling water to the barley.  Let mixture infuse for 15 minutes, and then combine with honey.  Let sit for 6 hours, and then strain out solids.