For bourbon, talk to JIM BEAM

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Ricky Paiva and Jim Beam Citrus Highball

Ricky Paiva and Jim Beam Citrus Highball

The world’s favourite Kentucky corn whiskey has a new look and a cool new cocktail

MOST PEOPLE don’t actually attend a bartending master class to learn how to tend bar. In the case of the session earlier this week with Ricky Paiva, Jim Beam’s brand ambassador for Southeast Asia, they were there for the bourbon – and the great stories.

Paiva shared tricks of the trade at a Citrus Highball Party at the W Bangkok and regaled the fans with tales from 220 years of the world’s best-selling bourbon.

“Bourbon is definitely my drink of choice – it was even before I joined Jim Beam,” California-born Paiva said as part of his B4B (Bartenders for Bourbon) campaign to educate mixers and shakers around the region about the brand and about bourbon in general.

The booze-soaked adage is “All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.” Just as whisky has to be made in Scotland to be called scotch, bourbon has to be made in the United States earn that label. And Paiva explained there are more such “rules”, too.

Drunken US congressmen don’t remember passing any “bourbon law”, but there is one, and it requires that the spirit be 51 per cent corn distillation and matured in new, charred-oak barrels. It can’t be any more than 160 proof either. It goes in the barrel at 125 proof and picks up the rest of its kick while maturing for a minimum two years.

“Jim Beam ages it twice as long as the law requires, so all Jim Beam is aged at least four years before bottling. That gives it the smooth, rounded, refined edge,” Paiva pointed out.

The Beam family arrived in Kentucky from Germany and began producing the corn whiskey that became known as bourbon. Jacob Beam rolled out the first barrel in 1795. Since then, seven generations of the family have continued making the whiskey for the company behind the brand.

The name “Jim Beam” refers to James B Beam, who rebuilt the business in 1933, after America gave up on that ill-considered experiment in human genetic modification known as Prohibition.

So, going back to Jacob, there are 220 years of experience distilled into every bottle – along with corn, rye, malted barley, water, time, pride and passion.

“Many people have the perception that bourbon is very strong and harsh and has to be taken with cola to tone it down,” Paiva said. “But Jim Beam has a unique style – it’s a classic, palatable, medium-body type of spirit with pleasantly mellow hint of caramel and vanilla.

“It’s great on its own, as well as in cocktails, such as a Whiskey Sour or an Old Fashioned. There’s also our highlighted drink, the Citrus Highball, that’s perfect for the tropical climate in Thailand.”

Now we get to the bartending. If someone – you, for example – wants a Citrus Highball, all you have to do is fill a glass with ice, slash in the Jim Beam Original or any other Jim Beam variety you like, add some simple syrup and lemon juice and top it up with soda. It’s really refreshing and takes no time to make.

“It’s a great afternoon drink and goes well with Thai food,” said the boss. “With food, the bourbon isn’t overpowering and its slight sweetness and sour tang counterbalance the savoury taste of the meal. And the fizz of the soda cleanses the palate ready for the next flavours.

“Plus, it’s great in hot weather. If I’m having a Thai meal I’d be drinking this the whole way!”

Toasts were also raised at the Highball Party to Jim Beam’s new packaging. The bottle looks bolder in shape now and the labels have a cleaner design, with updated portraits of the distiller and a refined “rosette” logo.

The premium portfolio includes Jim Beam Black, now in a more rectangular bottle with extra fine detailing, crafted borders and refined embossing on the label.

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