By Benaifer J. Mirza
Whatever women might feel, it is something that men have known for thousands of years: an evening out with other men makes them feel happy, relaxed and refreshed for days on end. And despite all the usual protestations of the long-suffering girlfriends and wives, here is the scientific proof of why men should, in fact, get together with their pals more often than less. A 2014 study by anthropologists at Georg-August University in Gottingen, Germany along with scientists from South Africa and the UK found that male-bonding helps reduce stress level among men. The research involved groups of Barbary apes, a type of monkey found in North Africa which exhibit social behavior like humans. Apparently the stress hormone levels in male monkeys rose when they were in the company of females, while it went down considerably in a male-only group. If your wife/ girlfriend wants proof for this, they can check out the study here: http://goo.gl/mefopv
So now that we have established that buddy nights are good for the male psyche, and their overall wellness, the question is how do you make these evenings exciting and unique. Savoring good alcohol was always part of the equation. But how about some truly exotic cocktails, drinks that fit perfectly with the occasion. We turned to Nicholas Ord, Brand Ambassador, Diageo Reserve Brands, India, a man of tremendous mixological skills, for the answer. After much thought and experimentation he has come up with five drinks that we guarantee are as much fun to make with your buddies as they are to drink with them. A note of caution though: Some of them have macho written all over, particularly in terms of their fieriness…
Tanqueray Garden Party
Nicholas gets the garden party started! Says the Master Maker, “Say ‘hello’ and a warm welcome to your playmates in a summer garden of herbal aromas and light flavours, as you picnic in the park with elderflower and cucumber essence, washed with Tanqueray No. Ten, and its aromatic botanicals of fresh grapefruit and lime. A slap of basil and mint leaves will enliven your palate for the journey ahead, as you embark on a voyage of fresh flavours and friendship.”
60ml Tanqueray No. Ten
Half Fresh Cucumber (diced)
4 Big and fresh basil leaves, without the stem
15 Big and fresh mint leaves, without the stem
30ml Fresh lime juice
20ml Elderflower syrup
30ml Tonic at the top
Big basil sprig
Big mint sprig
1. Muddle the drink.
2. Shake all the ingredients.
3. Fine strain.
4. Build the drink.
5. A highball glass is what does some great visual justice to your Tanqueray Garden Party. Garnish the drink with a cucumber stick, big basil sprig, big mint sprig and lime wedge. Complete it by dusting on some icing sugar
6. And, yes, some mise en place would help for this cocktail.
Wasabi and Ginger- Honey Gold Fashioned
Nicholas celebrates the spirit of friendship with this cocktail. He says, “Bring to the boil your bonding session with your bestie by indulging in this perfect partnership of spice and smooth, with runny honey reduced with fresh ginger and stirred into Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, a slap of wasabi and a binding hit of bitters, decorated with a sweet-chunk of fresh, dripping honeycomb.”
1000ml Ginger-infused J. Walker Gold
15ml Wasabi-infused honey reduction
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Diced ginger slices
1. Barrel age for 4 week
2. Stir it all.
3. Build the ingredients.
4. Barrel-serve the super-enjoyable Wasabi and Ginger-Honey Gold Fashioned. Embellish it with diced ginger slices and a piece of honeycomb.
18-Year-Old Cherry Bomb
Some things, like the bond of friendship, only get better with age. And here’s yet another example. Nicholas shares, “Johnnie Walker Platinum 18 Year is given a friendly handshake with home-made cherry-balsamic shrub, star anise spice and lemon citrus, topped off with a charge of cola fizz, to add some length to already vital friendships and allow them time to sparkle as the conversation flows like fine wine.”
45ml Johnnie Walker Platinum 18 Yrs
30ml Cherry Shrub
1 Star anise
30ml Honey water (2:1 honey:hot water)
30ml Fresh lemon juice
30ml Coca Cola at the top
1. Shake all the ingredients.
2. Strain it all.
3. Build the cocktail.
4. Serve your 18-Year-Old Cherry Bomb in a highball glass. Garnish with star anise, a lemon slice, and two cherries.
Nicholas gives you some fire and lots of fun with this cocktail. He says, “With palates and minds refreshed and sweetened, introduce a little intensity, with fiery-red chilli and Tabasco bonded to Johnnie Walker Red Label and given a firm handshake with tomato juice and Worcester sauce.” And, it doesn’t end there. Nicholas adds, “The already feisty mix is given extra weight by a rolling of smoke from burnt cherry-wood chips and a pep of black pepper.”
45ml Red chilli infused-J.W. Red Label
120ml Tomato juice
15ml Fresh lemon juice
7 dash Tabasco
10 dash Worcestershire sauce
3 Black pepper twists
A pinch Celery Salt
Black pepper and chilli
1. Pass it.
2. Smoke it.
3. Serve your Red-headed Snapper in a highball glass, cherry-wood smoked. Take it to the next level by coating the rim with some black pepper and chilli, and let some chilli flakes and a celery stick sit beautifully on the drink.
Golden Espresso Hailstorm
And, it’s finally time to call it a night. Nicholas helps you do it in style. “Say ‘goodnight’ to your compadres with a hit of Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, sending you home with a comforting hug of fresh espresso and a home-made tincture of honey, cinnamon and nutmeg to warm you on your way home in a shower of fond memories to treasure…” But, this enjoyable session will definitely be just the beginning of many more such memorable buddy nights!
60ml Johnnie Walker Gold Label
30ml Fresh espresso
30ml Honey, cinnamon and nutmeg syrup
30ml Fresh lime juice
1. Shake the ingredients.
2. Fine strain it all.
3. The Golden Espresso Hailstorm looks classic in a martini glass. Let three coffee beans sit at the heart of the cocktail, with a lemon twist and some grated nutmeg sprinkled on.
Checkout more World Class cocktail recipes on our World Class Page.