Sunday, September 6, 2015

Monkey Shoulder: At The Heart of a New Cocktail Revolution

Playful, irreverent, unconventional and a cheeky disregard for tradition, definitely more fun than a barrel of monkeys...

Monkey Shoulder is a smooth and rich blended malt Scotch whisky, made from three of Speyside's finest single malts and produced in small batches. Take it neat, on the rocks or mixed into a fresh, fruity cocktail, Monkey Shoulder has all the credentials of a classic single malt whisky with the versatility and mixability that places it right at the center, and the heart, of a new cocktail revolution...

The name "Monkey Shoulder" is inspired by the traditional whisky making process, a reference to the malt men working long shifts turning the barley by hand. The name  is also an affectionate tribute to all malt men, honored in William Grant & Sons' newest whisky, Monkey Shoulder, 100% malt Scotch whisky distilled, matured, and bottled in Scotland. William Grant & Sons is an independent family-owned distillery established in 1887, the distiller behind such iconic labels as Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Grant's Family Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky, Tullamore Dew Blended Irish Whisky, and Hendrick's Gin, a premium gin infused with exotic botanicals in its unique apothecary-style bottle.

The story behind Monkey Shoulder began when William Grant & Sons' legendary malt master, David Stewart, decided to create the world's first "triple" malt, combining single malts from Speyside's finest distilleries. What follows is a long and tedious process with the chosen malts maturing in first-fill ex-bourbon casks maintained by the distillery's skilled coopers to impart an exceptionally smooth and mellow vanilla notes to the resting blend of malt whisky. After three to six months, and with the malt master's approval, the small batch is then bottled with its unique triple monkey badge. It's the blend of pure single malts, with absolutely no grain whisky in the blend, the first-fill ex-bourbon casks, and the maturing process that gives Monkey Shoulder its distinct and pronounced smoothness, perfect as is yet versatile as a mixer for a variety of cocktails. And I get to see, and taste, the newest blended malt Scotch whisky from William Grant & Sons up close...

The exclusive event was held at Smith and Butcher along H. V. De La Costa, known for its premium steaks and well-stocked bar. Light and flavorful seafood appetizers were served during the event, including Baked Oysters...

...and the refreshing Hawaiian Tuna Poke, pairing well with a glass of Monkey Shoulder, straight up and on the rocks.

Zachary Connor de Git (L), William Grant & Sons Regional Portfolio Ambassador for Southeast Asia & Third Party Markets, demonstrates the versatility of Monkey Shoulder at the bar with a wide variety of cocktails as Felle Lim (R), William Grant & Sons Regional Brand Manager for Monkey Shoulder, welcomed guests.

At the bar, Zach invited guests to go behind the bar to prepare some cocktails made even better with Monkey Shoulder, demonstrating the blended single malt Scotch whisky's casual, refreshingly approachable, unconventional character and mixability, making it the ideal base for exciting and new cocktails.  

Get acquainted with Monkey Shoulder with a neat shot or on the rocks, and almost immediately the velvety smoothness of the blended single malt Scotch whisky slides down easily, imparting smoky notes with hints of vanilla lingering long after the first sip. It's that first sip that makes it special, followed by another. And another. Like a casual fling, Monkey Shoulder makes that impression at the very first sip.

Taken neat, Monkey Shoulder's soothing and distinct smoothness, with its easy, playful and irreverent character, makes it the perfect Scotch whisky for a new generation to experience and discover, and its versatility as a mix master is the gateway to an exciting journey of new and refreshing cocktails. Take the Mamie Taylor, a cool blend of Monkey Shoulder and Ginger Ale, combining the mild sweetness of the ginger ale with the smooth and smoky notes of Monkey Shoulder. It's the perfect cocktail for a lazy afternoon, or a great starter for an evening filled with possibilities. Smooth, easy, and relaxed, and a great cocktail to begin your experience with Monkey Shoulder.

But Monkey Shoulder also lends well to classic cocktails, like the Rob Roy (L), a blend of Monkey Shoulder, sweet Vermouth, and Angostura Bitters; or the rejuvenating Morning Glory Fizz (R), with Monkey Shoulder, lemon juice, simple syrup, Absinthe, and a creamy head of egg white.

Zach then impresses the crowd at the bar by concocting different cocktails. "I want something really smoky," said one of the guests, and Zach replied, "no problem." And in minutes, the "smoky" cocktail with Monkey Shoulder was served to the delight of the crowd. With Monkey Shoulder, the cocktail possibilities are limitless.   

From the classic Old Fashioned to the modern Penicillin, Monkey Shoulder is a versatile mixer with its rich smokiness and mellow vanilla notes that pairs perfectly with an infinite number of cocktail concoctions. Guests were then given a Monkey Shoulder tool kit, containing everything you need to make that perfect cocktail. Very cool.

Then, it's time to make some cocktails with Monkey Shoulder. And you can too, check out the cool recipes for three cocktails made with Monkey Shoulder below and start your own personal cocktail revolution...

With my Monkey Shoulder tool kit, creating new cocktails is both easy and fun. Great as is, neat or on the rocks, or as a cocktail, Monkey Shoulder does the job. And it does it well. For more on William Grant & Sons and their line of premium spirits, check out my previous posts on Glenfiddich and a unique Lechon Pairing here at, and my first ever encounter with the most unusual gin, Hendrick's Gin, infused with exotic botanicals totally changing the way I enjoy a classic Gin & Tonic, here at

Mamie Taylor

  • 40ml Monkey Shoulder
  • Lime Wedge
  • 80ml Ginger Ale
  1. Add all ingredients to a Highball.
  2. Add ice all the way to the top and stir gently, top up with ginger ale if need be.
  3. Garnish with lime edge.
Rob Roy
  • 50ml Monkey Shoulder
  • 25ml Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir until dilution is reached.
  3. Strain into a coupette glass & garnish with orange peel.
Morning Glory Fizz
  • 50ml Monkey Shoulder
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 20ml simple syrup
  • 1 Dash of Absinthe
  • 15ml Egg White 


  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker.
  2. Dry shake, add ice and shake again.
  3. Strain in to a fizz glass, top with soda.
William Grant & Sons is an award-winning independent family-owned distiller founded by William Grant in 1886 and today still controlled by his direct descendants. The company distills some of the world's leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world's favorite single malt Glenfiddich, the handcrafted range of The Balvenie single malts and Grant's blended whisky, as well as selected other spirits, including Sailor Jerry, Monkey Shoulder and Reyka Vodka.

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