• Delicious whisky cocktails with Monkey Shoulder

Lucky enough to be invited to the Monkey Shoulder Underground party on Tuesday 12 February, I immediately called my Scotch-loving friend.

“Do you want to go to an event for Monkey Shoulder whisky?”

“Of course, I love Scotch.”

With the little information (the location was secret and not sent till a couple of days before), we were in suspense as to what the event would entail. Walking past the South Yarra warehouse in Oak Place, I saw the front hidden to heighten exclusivity and beautiful women checking names at the front.

The manager showed us around and explained the event.

“Monkey Should tastes between a malt and a blended whiskey, it is a triple malt," he said.

He went on to explain that Scotch was what old people drink, at which my friend and I gave each other covetous looks (don’t admit you like Scotch to this young crowd), and that Monkey Shoulder on the other hand was for younger drinkers who, when we entered, seemed to be stylish, twenty-something year olds who were cool in the Melbourne scene.

There were cocktails, there were punches, and matched with these was an inflatable boxing ring that my friend and I would have loved to have played on if we had not been wearing such flowing skirts. Instead we played street fighter – yes they even had arcade games – and listened to the sixties hits they had playing soft enough to still talk, loud enough to create atmosphere.

Upstairs we were taught how to make Old Fashioneds, mine with chocolate bitters, my friend’s with peach. They were delicious.

“I’m impressed with how well it mixes, usually I prefer my whiskey on ice,” my friend said. “It is very easy to drink. Very easy.”

Next we tried the several punches on tap. Again delicious.

Then we had ginger cocktails and apple juice ones too. I really liked the whiskey mixed with ginger.

By this point, as you may have guessed, we were tipsy. But as the theme of “drinking responsibly” suggested, we were also dosed up with food and water along the way.

Surprisingly we were not served Monkey Shoulder straight, and we guessed that this must just be the way old people drink it.

We were, however, given little bottles to take home so that we can practise making Old Fashioneds.

Lots of ice
45ml Monkey Shoulder
A dash of bitters (chocolate, peach or angostura)
A cherry or a slice of orange peel to garnish

Fill your glass (or in our case jar) with lots of ice. Add 45ml of Monkey Shoulder, a generous dash of bitters and then stir so that it is diluted with the ice. Garnish with a fresh cherry or orange peel and enjoy.