“There’s a diverse world of whisky out there,” says Tynan Sidhu, bar manager at Sydney’s whisky-steeped mainstay The Baxter Inn (and previously The Whisky Room in Surry Hills). “[Be it] what’s produced in Scotland, Tasmania or Kentucky, everyone should be able to find something they appreciate.”

With World Whisky Day falling on Saturday May 16 this year, it’s an ideal occasion to dip into some choice single malts at home. “Everyone’s doing all these amazing things with food because they have time,” says Sidhu. “Why not transfer that to drinks?”

Here he shares a trio of easy (three to six ingredients each), whisky-driven cocktail recipes to honour the day.

Rob Roy
This classic cocktail dates back to 1894, just two years after The Balvenie distillery opened in Dufftown, Scotland. This iteration uses The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old, the original sherry finished whisky created by the man who pioneered the process of cask finishing, malt master David Stewart, MBE. The Rob Roy uses single malt whisky alongside sweet vermouth and bitters.

“It’s a bold and rich-style [cocktail]. More of a sipping drink, preferably after dinner,” says Sidhu. “Something to snuggle up to Netflix with.” He says The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old works best, its harmony of gentle vanilla sweetness and honey characteristics making the drink soft and approachable. “From that sherry cask finish, you’ll find dry fruits and spices. When you pair that with a rich-style vermouth, you get that orange-peel spice and some of those herbaceous notes.”

If you don’t have a coupette (slightly larger, rounder and broader-rimmed glassware) at home, any stemmed glassware will do, so that you’re not altering the temperature of the chilled drink with the contact warmth of your hand.

Rob Roy
Makes 1 serve. Approx. 1.9 standard drinks.

Ingredients:
50ml The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old
25ml sweet vermouth
2 dashes bitters
1 cherry for garnish

Method:
Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a mixing glass and stir over ice. Strain into a chilled coupette and garnish with a cherry.

Fizz 1.2
This twist on a fizzy Baxter original is essentially a Whisky Sour with a dash of soda – “just to liven it up, bring some bubbles and make it that refreshing, longer-style serve,” says Sidhu.

The whisky choice here is unusual: Ailsa Bay is part of a wave of scientifically-perfected Scotch whiskies coming out of Scotland’s lowlands at the moment, and comes bundled with sound-bites like “micro-maturation and block-chain technology,” “precision distillation” and a “data-led industry first sweetness index.”

“It’s what they call a ‘New World’ style [of scotch],” Sidhu says. “Its whole life is spent ageing in American oak casks that range in size. It brings a campfire smokiness, but also pine. It’s quite earthy, but balanced with sweet vanilla.”

He pairs it with a citrus kick of lemon juice, sweet vermouth and The Baxter Inn’s preferred sugar syrup ratio: three parts caster sugar, to two parts water (rather than the more common half and half).

Use any tall vessel if you don’t have a proper Collins glass, and a sturdy household jar with a watertight lid if you don’t have a cocktail shaker at home. Orange bitters can be ordered from Dan Murphy’s or other specialty liquor stores, or substituted with a simple twist of orange peel as a garnish.

Fizz 1.2
Makes 1 serve. Approx. 1.8 standard drinks.

Ingredients:
40ml Ailsa Bay Single Malt Whisky Release 1.2
20ml sweet vermouth
25ml fresh lemon juice
20ml sugar syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
30ml soda
1 lemon wedge for garnish

Method:
Combine all ingredients except soda and garnish in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a Collins glass and top with soda and ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Elevated Apple
“If you’ve been to our bar, I bet you’ve tried our whisky apple,” says Sidhu. “This is a lifted take on our old-school classic, with a touch of citrus and a dash of sugar for balance.”

This “delicious quencher” heroes Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, pairing its butterscotch caramel tones with apple and lemon juice to mirror its fruit notes from the bourbon barrels in which it’s aged. If you don’t have access to fresh apples, just use the best cloudy apple juice from the supermarket. “Just make sure the juice is fresh,” Sidhu says, “That’s what really makes this drink pop.”

Elevated Apple
Makes 1.4 standard drinks.

Ingredients:
45ml Glenfiddich 12 Year Old
10ml fresh lemon juice
5ml sugar syrup
Fresh granny smith apple juice

Method:
Build all ingredients in a highball glass, add ice and serve.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Glenfiddich.