Libations: Getting into the mix with the Monkey Mixer
When thinking about scotch, images of old men sitting in a smoky room with a cigar in one hand and a glass of caramel-colored liquor with one ice cube in the other hand typically come to mind.
Enter Monkey Shoulder, a blended malt whisky that is out to break all the stereotypical rules of traditional scotch and those who drink it.
“With Monkey Shoulder, we endeavor to say, ‘Why not whisky how we want to whisky?’” said Vance Henderson, Monkey Shoulder’s national ambassador. “Why not use a great quality scotch whisky in high-quality cocktails and have fun while you do it?”
Why not, indeed.
In the company’s campaign to break the rules and “whisky how they want to whisky,” they are heading to the Food & Wine Classic this weekend (June 14-16) and bringing with them a party on wheels that is sure to turn heads.
The Monkey Mixer is a big orange truck, modeled after a cement mixer, but in place of the drum that mixes cement is a giant, silver cocktail shaker. Henderson said that some may say it is the “largest cocktail shaker in the world,” but he won’t officially weigh in on the debate.
The best part about The Monkey Mixer is that it is fully functioning, meaning you can actually be served a cocktail from the mixer.
Once people see that it works, “it’s like a whole new level of excitement and surprise,” Henderson said, “because they just were initially thrown by the idea of this giant, shiny truck. But then to see that it actually is beautiful and it functions, it’s like it just takes the cake.”
The cocktail shaker drum holds 2,400 gallons of liquid which, according to Henderson, is roughly 11,000 bottles, or 125,000 cocktails.
During the daytime at Food & Wine, members of the public (no pass needed) who are 21 and older will be able to find The Monkey Mixer at designated stops around Aspen. (The stops had not been chosen as of press time, but honestly, it’s a giant orange mixing truck, so it’s probably not that hard to find.)
The mixer will be serving up its staple cocktail called the Mixed Up Monkey during the day. Essentially a mint collins, the Mixed Up Monkey is light and refreshing, sort of like a nice spiked sparkling mint lemonade, according to Henderson.
On Saturday evening, the Monkey Mixer will be parked at Smuggler Mine for the Wine at the Mine party, where it will be serving up a special cocktail called the Monkey Rosé, created exclusively for the popular late-night party.
Henderson is going to be pairing Monkey Shoulder whisky with rosé wine to create a unique, “boozy, delicious, light and refreshing” drink “that no one would’ve ever thought you could do.”
“The whole idea that we try to drive home is that Monkey Shoulder is made for mixing,” Henderson said. “It’s a very cheeky brand.
“So, when it came to the Monkey Mixer idea, it was like, ‘Well, what more outlandish way or thing could we drive home the idea that this whisky is made for mixing than creating a giant mixer truck?’”
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Perhaps it’s because we are in the abbreviated days of winter and I instinctively know that the sun is shining down-under. But every January I go through a nostalgic period where Australian wine dominates my mind.