Embark on a Cocktail Voyage with The Macallan and BAR45

Words by
Pippa Lowe

22nd May 2024

The Macallan have merged with BAR45 to launch a trio of intricate cocktails in celebration of their 200th Anniversary and Pippa Lowe headed down to sample each of the three. Join her as she explores The Macallan's Past, Present and Future through the the art of fine mixology. 

This year The Macallan celebrates their 200th anniversary. Within their grandiose festivities over the course of 2024, the famed Scottish whisky distillery have teamed with BAR45 at 45 Park Lane to bring us a voyage through time in the form of three completely individualistic cocktails. Each encapsulating a different era of The Macallan, the limited-edition menu is currently available until the 21st June.

Whisky is an elaborate spirit, and mixing can be seen as camouflaging or dampening the true flavours. It takes a truly talented mixologist to make a good whisky cocktail. Complementing the notes of the whisky, rather than smothering them. To say that these cocktails are in good hands is an understatement. Bar Manager at BAR45, Enrico Perri, was the leading brain behind the dazzling drinks. In the above video from @45parklane, we see the making of a Present cocktail - featuring Enrico. I was advised to work through each cocktail by jumping straight into the Future, before working back into the Present and the Past. This is the order recommended to best allow the complexity of the cocktails to develop on the palate.

The Macallan Voyage Cocktails at BAR45

The Macallan Future

The Macallan BAR45 - the future
Future: The Macallan Double Coask 12yo, Amaro Santoni, cherry calamansi cordial and fermented lemon

The future was seen as an opportunity for innovation and experimentation, looking forward into the beyond for what doesn’t exist quite yet. The cocktail was soft and punchy, whilst fulfilling its task of exiting the taste buds with all five taste qualities: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and (commonly forgotten) umami. Featuring the Macallan Double Cask 12yo along with the citrusy spice of Amaro Santoni, sweet cherry calamansi cordial and finished with fermented lemon. One side of the tumbler was encrusted with citrusy salt crystals, providing a balancing savoury edge to the sweet and fruity flavours of the drink itself. Asking around the other guests, the future was the cocktail the majority had claimed as their favourite and was certainly seen held in a lot of hands! Whilst pleasing all the taste qualities, the future seemed to have the ability to please everyone.

The Macallan Present

The Macallan BAR45 - Present
Present: The Macallan Double Cask 12yo, Drambuie, green apple and vanilla cordial with chocolate bitters

Moving into the now. The Present is the only tall out of the trio, glowing and golden. Taking inspiration from the Penicillin cocktail, a classic scotch-based lemon and ginger drink created in mid-2000’s New York. The Present shares the same fresh and ‘medicinal’ properties. Bringing the glass up to my nose, I was instantly transported to one of my favourite places – a sushi restaurant. I sat quizzically wondering what it could be until noticing that the yellow curl sat atop the ice happened to be pickled ginger. Making my sudden vision of a sushi restaurant seem slightly less obscure. Upon first sip, the drink is reminiscent of a green apple hard candy. Tart and crisp. The flavour then evolves, the hints of sweet vanilla peek through and are carried with the velvety undertones of The Macallan and Drambuie. Whilst the freshness of apple remains lingering and the bright acidity of pickled ginger hits your nose as you go to take your next sip. 

The Macallan Past

The Macallan BAR45 - Past Cocktail
Past: The Macallan Double Cask 18yo, Cocchi Extra Dry vermouth, fig syrup and chocolate bitters

Every three-course meal finishes with dessert. So naturally, the final cocktail would be the embodiment of dessert-like indulgence. Topped with a cherry blossom-infused chocolate truffle to start, the Past certainly held the most complexity and richness of the trio. Communicating the tradition and timeless elegance of The Macallan, the Past draws inspiration from the Manhattan. One of the world’s most iconic cocktails made with whisky, sweet vermouth, bitters and finished with a maraschino cherry. Taking these classic components of the Manhattan, the refined cocktail enhances them with the history of The Macallan. Featuring a more mature whisky that the previous two cocktails: The Macallan Double Cask 18yo. Joining with Cocchi Extra Dry vermouth, fig syrup and chocolate bitters. As satiating as a square of high-quality dark chocolate, the Past is one to sip at. Enveloping the drinker in new layers of opulent black forest notes as they drain the glassy liquid away.

The trio of cocktails, served at £50 for the Past and £29 a glass for the Present and Future, will be available at BAR45 until the 21st of June. Along with a limited edition whisky tasting from The Macallan accompanied with a chocolate pairing for £110.

Learn more and book via this link.