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Weekday Lounge Exclusive | Cutty Sark comes to India

Weekday Lounge Exclusive | Cutty Sark comes to India
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First Published: Mon, Jul 28 2008. 11 19 PM IST

Shanghai Spirit and Cut Tea
Shanghai Spirit and Cut Tea
Updated: Tue, Jul 29 2008. 01 33 PM IST
Peter Davie, commercial director, Cutty Sark International, was in New Delhi recently. In a conversation with Lounge he spoke about the origin of Cutty Sark, how it is different from other brands of Scotch, and about their plans.
What is distinctive about Cutty Sark scotch whisky?
Cutty Sark has always been different from mainstream scotch. In 1923, when it was launched, whiskys were dark coloured, tended to have a harsh taste and
Shanghai Spirit and Cut Tea
appealed only to a certain group of people. Cutty Sark was aimed at a new consumer group and had a different taste — it was sweeter and lighter in colour.
What is different about Cutty Sark is that the various malts and grain whiskys that go into making it are blended and then put back in oak casks for six months, instead of being bottled directly. This gives it a smoother and more balanced taste.
What is your assessment of the whisky market in India?
India is among the half-a-dozen countries which are sustainable in the long term in all sectors of whisky. The average age of the population here is 24 years and there are huge amounts of whisky being produced locally. Lately, there has been growing affluence, rising disposable incomes and a thirst for internationally known brands. Cutty Sark has been quietly marketing its whisky in India for more than 10 years now, but now we have partnered with the Jubilant group for distributorship to accelerate the growth in our market share.
Any particular segment in India that you are aiming your whisky at?
We have just introduced a blended malt whisky, which will be aimed at those who are more affluent and more willing to experiment. These are priced in the
Peter Davie, commercial director, Cutty Sark International
range of Rs2,500 to Rs3,000, whereas regular Cutty Sark whisky costs around Rs1,600.
We are targeting the regular whisky at the 25-40 age group and the malt at the more mature 35-plus segment.
The fondness of Indian drinkers for Johnny Walker is well known. Are you expecting some serious competition?
Johnny Walker is associated with a more conservative mindset, whereas we are targeting a younger, more adventurous crowd. Cutty Sark, because it is smoother and sweeter, is easier to drink and it blends more easily with other drinks. Our more successful markets tend to have warmer climates.
How much do you sell in Scotland?
Actually, 99.9% of the whisky we distil is for export. Right from our earliest days we have targeted international markets.
If you want to try out some whisky cocktails, here are a few recipes:
Shanghai Spirit: To awaken the senses, the citric aromas of the ginger are fused with a hint of whisky. This is an exotic and refreshing cocktail. Perfect as an aperitif.
Ingredients:
50ml of Cutty Sark scotch whisky
20ml of pressed lime juice
10ml of orange liqueur
20g of sugar
Some finely chopped ginger
50ml of soda
Method:
Add the chopped ginger, lime juice and orange liqueur directly into the cocktail glass and add the sugar. Add soda to the whisky.
How to serve:
In a glass, on the rocks. Decorate the glass with a slice of ginger.
Cutty Punch: Perfect for late afternoon or the evening.
Ingredients:
50ml of Cutty Sark scotch whisky
K pressed lime
250ml of sugar syrup
100ml of sparkling water (soda)
Method:
Pour the lime juice, sugar syrup, 2-3 cubes of ice and whisky into a cocktail shaker and mix together.
How to serve:
Pour directly into a long glass and complete with sparkling water to the top.
Cut Tea: The main flavour of this cocktail is black tea from Assam with a hint of mango. It maintains and balances the aromas of the whisky. Perfect to drink at a dinner party.
Ingredients:
50ml of Cutty Sark scotch whisky
50ml of black tea infusion
mango
cream
Method:
Prepare a black tea infusion, add some finely chopped mango and a small amount of liquid cream and allow to cool. Mix the whisky, cream and tea in a cocktail shaker.
How to serve:
In a glass, on the rocks. Decorate the glass with a flower.
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First Published: Mon, Jul 28 2008. 11 19 PM IST