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Cocktail Master Combines Fresh Fruits, Aged whiskey


Lydia Reismueller, shaking cocktails is a form of creative art. Since she was enticed by the concoctions of New York bars more than a decade ago, she’s been trying to create her own style of original cocktail, which she calls “the most satisfying art form,” as bartender at PTD.

“The United States is known as the birthplace of cocktails,” she said in an e-mail interview a few days before her arrival here to participate in a promotion of single malt whiskey cocktails at the Ritz-Carlton Seoul in Nonhyeon-dong. The event takes place from next Tuesday to Friday.

Her visit also coincides with the lead up to the World Class, a global bar tending competition, hosted by Diageo Reserve, a leading alcoholic drinks maker. To help Korean bartenders train for the contest, also known as the “liquid Oscar,” Diageo Korea has invited Reismueller to give classes. Only one lucky bartender will be chosen to fly to Athens, Greece for the real thing this July. Around 150 have applied for the national contest, of which 30 were screened last Monday after taking a written test. The final Korean candidate will be chosen in June. Last year, 6,000 bartenders from 24 countries ended up competing at the event.

“Living in New York, I was exposed to some very good bartenders. Tasting their creations attracted me,” she said.

For the upcoming event in Seoul, she will be mixing single malt whiskeys, including Talisker, Singleton, Cragganmore, Glenkinchie, and Oban. The “Talisker Goldmine,” for example, is shaken with pear preserves, fresh thyme and mixed fresh citrus juices.

“I’ve noticed that single malts are popular on their own, but I want people in Korea to see how delicious they are in cocktails,” she said. “There is no reason why the single malt industry cannot experience the growth that cocktails have seen in the last few years in Korea.”

Meanwhile, Reismueller also recommends local produce to bartenders. “I hope to inspire people to use local, seasonal, and better quality ingredients to make their cocktails naturally more delicious,” she said. At her event in Korea, she will use local ingredients such as ginseng, preserved pears and spring herbs to accent the flavor of the whiskeys.

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Monday, January 22, 5:47 am

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