As far as it depends on me, I try to buy the best ingredients that I can get my hands on. They don’t have to be expensive but they have to have something special that recommends them. However, sometimes, people gift you things, and though the things are not what you might have picked out for yourself, you end up discovering something that you would have overlooked otherwise.
Case in point, this J&B Rare Blended Scotch Whiskey. I can’t lie, I have always snubbed it in the supermarkets because it just looks one kind to me. It looks like one of those blends that just isn’t quite right, like a prop for the village drunkard in Afmag films. It looks like a struggle brand, the kind where you have to ask yourself why your standards are dipping so low.
I can’t now remember who gave us this, but I am grateful that they did because you know what? It isn’t half bad! It is much, much, much better than I expected it to be – both to enjoy in the evening on its own with a little water and ice, and in cocktails. It is light, smooth, and pleasant. In cocktails, it gives a nice buzzy boost without overpowering the other flavours with that distinctive whiskey-ish scent. So for cocktails like this one with delicate flavours, I might actually choose to use this over more popular blends like Black Label or Chivas. I found myself feeling ashamed that I had allowed the bad packaging of something so good to influence me so strongly. That is the equivalent of judging a book by its cover, or a person by how they look. Wrong, right?
So anyway, once I had enjoyed this whiskey a few times, and satisfied myself that I wasn’t making its greatness up, I decided to do a bit of research on it. I looked it up on the Whiskey Exchange, and found that it is actually highly rated by people who know their stuff. Is J&B Rare retro? Yes. Does it look unsexy? Sure. But does that diminish it’s content value? No, it does not.
Things like this really stay with me, because they seem small but they are reminders of very deep principles that we must not forget. We need to remember not to be addicted to the excitement of newness, or equate the absence of it to poor quality. Life is not only about how things appear. It is about probing, digging deeper, and finding out the true nature and value of the people and things around us; because not to do that is to live superficially and to rob ourselves of the opportunity to experience good things which don’t come in the package we expect.
I realise this has got very deep all of a sudden, and all I came here to do was share the recipe for this amazingly refreshing cocktail. But you guys know me by now, and so I know you’re not in the least bit surprised.
Here’s to us *cheers* :).