I sipped some whisky and I blew some glass (though not in that order).
Guests at yesterday’s Art of Auchentoshan event at Urban Glass in Brooklyn had opportunity to blow their own whisky glasses. Naturally, this activity took place before we the beverage media were let loose on some cocktails and bottle samplings.
Art of Auchentoshan is a social media campaign that encourages bartenders to share their original art online using the hashtag #ArtofAuchentoshan. Submissions can be in any form of art, including spoken word.
“We believe that if you are creative in one outlet of your life, you will be creative in others as well,” said Auchentoshan National Brand Ambassador Robin Nance.
To that point, the night’s bartender boasted a serious art background. The aptly named Ivy Mix made us her Ya Falta Menos cocktail (recipe below), while also displaying her photography, which focused on her twin sister to explore the nature of “self.”
“I left the upper echelon of the New York art world because I wasn’t making art,” Mix explained. “Now I make art for a different sensory palate.”
Her Ya Falta Menos cocktail painted a picture of fall season. Fresh apple and maple flavors combined wonderfully on the nose and palate. The drink featured Auchentoshan American Oak, a scotch aged in first-fill American Oak bourbon casks.
“If you’re coming in from the bourbon world, this is a good entry scotch for you,” Nance said. “It shares so many of the same flavors.”
The American Oak was used in the night’s other cocktail, Nance’s Auchentoshan Jul(e)p. We enjoyed both drinks in the Urban Glass lobby after our time upstairs making whisky glasses.
The 17,000-square-foot studio is an open access facility where 200 artists create. We paired off into teams and took seats at one of the many furnace stations. Each duo got an artisan helper. Ours, Steph, guided us safely through the many steps necessary to make just one whisky glass.
Steph fetched a clump of molten glass at the end of a metal rod. We had to roll it, reheat it, and blow into the glass from a mouthpiece at the rod’s other end. A wooden block with a cupped end was used to shape the glass. Metal pincers inserted into the glass expanded it. These steps were repeated. The partner not shaping was either blowing or shielding the shaper’s arm from the heat of the glass using a handheld wooden plank. At one point we swung the rod with the red-hot glass pendulum-like from a standing position, turning it as we did.
It was quite a lot of fun, and not nearly as dangerous as the waivers we signed seemed to imply. Much like in sports, obeying the fundamentals — which were well taught by Steph — led to a favorable outcome.
Our glasses are now cooling off. They’ll be imprinted with an “A” for Auchentoshan and then mailed our ways. Who knows: maybe mine will come out looking good enough to pour in some quality scotch, snap a photopraph, and then upload my masterpiece with the appropriate hashtag.
2 oz. Tea-infused Auchentoshan American Oak whisky
½ oz. Cocktail & Sons Oleo Saccharum syrup
Q Club soda
Dry shake the Auchentoshan and Oleo syrup. Pour over crushed or cube ice and top with Q Club soda. Garnish with lemon thyme.
*Infuse Auchentoshan American Oak with David’s Tea — The Buzz Tea for approximately 12 hours. Strain and use. One ounce of the The Buzz Tea used per 750-ml. bottle of Auchentoshan.
Recipe created by Robin Nance, Auchentoshan National Brand Ambassador
Ya Falta Menos
7 oz. Auchentoshan American Oak whisky
4 oz. Lustau Amontillado sherry
1 oz. Yellow chartreuse
¾ Creme de Peche liqueur
8 oz. Apple cider
1½ oz. Maple syrup
3 oz. Fresh lemon juice
5 dash Dale DeGroff’s pimento aromatic bitters
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl. Serve over ice.
Recipe created by Ivy Mix of Leyenda, Clover Club