Summer Cocktail Watch: Macallan Cooler (and Ice Balls) Abacus, Dallas.

I LOVE the Scotch whiskey. In fact, close friends know that I refer to a particular blend as a comfort food. When in a more discerning mood, single malts are de rigueur… and necessary. Amongst the most famous, one finds excellence: The Macallan. Burying the lead of a post to come, I can affirm that – after considerable research – Macallan Fine Oak 17 Year Old is about as good as you are gonna get – yum. (Strangely, the brand’s site now shows an 18 yr. in place of the 17 – research time.) 

Where was I… Oh! So, The Macallan had a promo event at Abacus recently – featuring a new cocktail by bar manager Stewart Jones, the Macallan Cooler: Macallan Single Malt Whisky, Cointreau, Regan’s Orange Bitters, Mint, Lemon Juice, Lime, Ginger Ale. We could debate all day about the best use of this spirit, but this cocktail WAS delicious.

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^ The bar at Abacus; and the Macallan Cooler.

Meanwhile: there was other action at the Macallan table. They are marketing “The Perfect Serve,” a compromise in the ongoing debate regarding ice usage with scotch (I generally prefer a wee bit). Here, The Macallan has taken inspiration from the Japanese tradition of serving fine spirits over a single, hand carved sphere of ice. My friend Yosuke Fukuda, now at Tei-An, first introduced me to this presentation while at Moosh:


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^ He used to claim he slaved 20 minutes over each sphere, but recently he admitted to taking some artistic license there. While Yosuke will serve you a hand carved sphere at the bar at Tei-An (if you ask nicely) – The Macallan people are using one of these nifty devices (also Japanese) to achieve the effect in a flash:


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A block of ice is placed above the lower mold; the upper mold (preferably lifted from a warm bath) is placed above and a weight applied. In a matter of seconds the ice ball is formed – nifty.


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The idea is that the perfectly efficient shape of the sphere allows the ice to chill the beverage without diluting it as quickly as chipped ice. Whatever – it’s cool anyways.