Follow us on social

Essential Journal

  /  Lifestyle   /  High Spirits

High Spirits

A month’s worth of comings and goings in the world of The Whisky Exchange

As the sunshine steps its game up and we head squarely into summer, we’re channelling the feel-good vibes of a bit more vitamin D, heady BBQ aromas and excuses for sundowners. Whether you prefer to keep cool with a refreshing Italian cocktail, a cold craft beer twist on afternoon tea, or with the writings of one very cool mixologist, it’s safe to say we have you covered. Cheers!

What we’re dramming: Croftengea 2008

A rare chance to try an official bottling of Loch Lomond’s heavily peated single malt: Croftengea. The whisky from this carefully selected hogshead, filled into just 289 bottles, is a must-try for fans of smoky, complex and elegant whisky. Peated to a hefty 40 ppm (phenol parts per million), Croftengea boasts a singular smokiness to be reckoned with.

Distilled in 2008, this whisky was matured in a single refill American oak hogshead until 2018, when it was bottled at 54.8%. With bold notes of smoke and smoked meats beautifully underscored by Loch Lomond’s trademark fruit and rounded barley flavours, this is a dram to be savoured.

£69.95 –


What we’re drinking: Langley’s Old Tom Gin  

With the gin world going a bit crazy at the moment, it’s good to know some solid classic styles of gin that taste like gin should!

The Old Tom style takes its name from the days of the 18th Century when unlicensed gin sales were made illegal and production of the liquid went underground. Drinkers looking for a tipple would look for a wood plaque featuring a picture of a black cat on walls of watering holes. They would insert a coin and whisper a password – a shot of gin would be poured down a pipe and out of a hole underneath the cat’s paw.

Langley’s Old Tom Gin is sweet and botanically intense with juicy orange aromas, leading to fennel-like anise tones. Makes a perfect Tom Collins. Simply add lemon juice, sugar syrup and top with soda.

£25.95 –

What we’re mixing: Rosa & Tonic

The Italian way of life involves an almost daily ‘aperitivo’ at 6pm – we think we need to adopt the same attitude this Summer! Cocchi Rosa is a blend of two aromatic red grape varieties (Brachetto and Malvasia) with a helping of herbs, fruits and spices such as gentian, cinchona, ginger and rose petals. The result is a light, herbaceous and delicately floral aperitif that will add new dimensions to your summer drinking, especially when stirred with tonic and sipped alongside a handful of fresh strawberries.


60ml Cocchi Rosa

Tonic: to taste

2 strawberries, halved

Ice cubes



Pour the Cocchi Rosa into a wine glass, add

the strawberries and ice and top up with tonic.

To garnish, dip half a strawberry in black pepper and place on the glass or at the side. A touch of black pepper can even be sprinkled on the drink, if you’re so inclined. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf or two.


Who we’re following: @the_cocktailguy

A pioneer in the cocktail world, Duck & Waffle’s Head of Spirit & Cocktail Development, Rich Woods has made quite a name for himself for his culinary approach to cocktail making. Intricacy, delicacy and sophistication come together to

form some of the most enticing, exciting and downright pretty little concoctions in the industry. Not only can you join his 60k strong Instagram followers in marvelling at his creations, you can also check out his first book, ‘The Cocktail Guy’ for more infusions, distillations and innovative combinations.

Who we’re visiting: The Porterhouse, Covent Garden

We don’t just love spirits here at The Whisky Exchange. We love beer too and have long been fans of The Porterhouse, just around the corner from our store in Covent Garden.

This Summer they’re launching a ‘Crafternoon Beer Tea’, a brilliant twist on an afternoon tea with carefully thought through pairings with different styles of beer. There are two menus, Light and Dark, on offer dependent on your beery taste buds. I’m personally opting for the Light option because Porterhouse IPA paired with Pork Pie & Onion Marmalade sounds like my idea of heaven.

Available at The Porterhouse, Covent Garden from 15th June (National Beer Day) and then launching internationally across The Porterhouse sites in Dublin, Wicklow and New York for International Beer Day, 3rd August 2018.