Raising a glass with Johnnie Walker

Raising a glass with Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador Ali Reynolds tells us more about whisky trends and signature serves

2020 marks a milestone for Johnnie Walker, with the famous Scotch whisky toasting 200 years. To hear more about the much-loved whisky, we caught up with Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador, Ali Reynolds, to talk whisky trends and signature serves.

I started out in the drinks industry …
Like most students and was a bartender during university. It was here that I fell in love with spirits and mixology and I've worked in the industry ever since, becoming the Johnnie Walker Brand Ambassador just over four years ago after winning Diageo's World Class Bartender of the Year Competition for GB in 2015. It's a brilliant job and allows me, as a firm whisky lover, to explore the range of different brands we have at Diageo, and I love coming up with new ways of enjoying Scotch.

There's no right or wrong way to enjoy whisky …
People are moving away from the traditional view that whisky should only be enjoyed neat. Of course there's nothing wrong with that, but we're starting to see a much stronger cocktail culture around Scotch, with bars across the country putting whisky on their cocktails and spirits menus. Highballs are certainly driving this trend, but as long as people are enjoying their whisky how they want to, I'm happy.

For those who are cautious of trying whisky …
Johnnie Walker as a brand has a variety of options, based on flavour profile, so really offers something for everyone. Pairing Johnnie Walker Black Label with your favourite mixer is a great introduction, as the bold flavours in the whisky stand up to any great mixer. For example, if you like gin cocktails or the light botanical flavours of a crisp Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc our Johnnie & Elderflower is a brilliant whisky alternative, and really brings out the floral notes of the Scotch.

The Edinburgh bar scene is second to none …
And has come on dramatically in the last few years. A few of my favourite spots in the capital would have to be Devil's Advocate for their amazing whisky and beer selection, Panda and Sons for a good cocktail and cosy environment, and Lucky Liquor for some flavour genius and, of course, the pool table.

The drink I'm making tonight is …
A Johnnie & Peach Highball. It's a refreshing serve that combines Johnnie Walker Black Label with sparkling peach iced tea, perfect for any occasion. Once in a while I'll treat myself to a measure from our Johnnie Walker Ghost & Rare series. The collection of spectacular blends feature rare whiskies from now closed 'ghost' distilleries, making for a really special dram.

For more information or to purchase Johnnie Walker Black Label, visit johnniewalker.com.

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