Recap: Southern California Whiskey Club Presents Paul John Whisky and Cocktail Class

Paul John Nirvana Boozy Mango Lassi

I first had Paul John Whisky back in 2017 and wrote about the Indian single malt line up in 2018.  Then Southern California Whiskey Club had a tasting for Paul John Whisky last December 2019. We were getting ready for another epic tasting in March with Paul John brand ambassador Koray Kaan Ozdemir aka the Whisky Monster. but the pandemic struck. The club decided to do a virtual tasting for the new Oloroso and PX casks. Just for fun, we also made cocktails. The kit included just enough Paul John Nirvana whisky for making two drinks. If you wanted to make all of the drinks, you were encouraged to get a bottle. Nirvana is a very affordable whisky and great for mixing. One club member said it’s also good for rounding out any infinity bottles you got going on.

Here are the recipes of the 5 drinks including my original boozy mango lassi. The rest are twists on classics.

Paul John Nirvana Mango Lassi
  • 2 oz Paul John Nirvana whisky
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz orgeat
  • 1 heaping barspoon plain yogurt
  • 1 heaping barspoon mango chutney or preserves*
  • 3 drops of rosewater
Combine all ingredients with ice in a mixing tin and hard shake for 30-40 seconds until chilled. Strain into a coupe.
*Fresh mango could be used in place of the mango chutney. Use two chunks of mango and .25 oz of simple syrup, muddled together before adding in other ingredients and shaking.
For the lassi, I was inspired by the countless mango lassies I’ve had over the years. I have always loved the tartness of yogurt and this drink replicates that. I used a dried rosehip for the garnish but you could also add a slice of mango (on a pick) for a garnish. I’ll be posting about how to make orgeat soon and my fave orgeat drinks.

Paul John Nirvana old fashioned

Paul John Nirvana Old Fashioned
  • 2 oz Paul John Nirvana whisky
  • 1/2 oz chai simple syrup
  • 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • ice (big rock or sphere preferred)
  • orange and/or lemon twist
Build in double rocks glass with ice, pour whisky and simple syrup Add a couple of dashes of bitters and then, stir.  Express citrus peel and drop into the glass. I used both orange and lemon twists because I’ve always loved that from one of my favorite bars, the Varnish in downtown Los Angeles.
The chai simple syrup is made with boiling sugar and water and steeping a few chai teabags. I used turbinado sugar because I wanted that richer taste. Simple syrup is just a cup of water and a cup of sugar. This will keep for about a month in the fridge. You could also make chai from scratch and use that as the water when boiling sugar but using tea bags is the easiest. Feel free to add cloves or star anise to your mixture if you want extra spice. Just strain before using.

Paul John Nirvana highball

Paul John Nirvana Highball
  • 2 oz Paul John Nirvana whisky
  • 4-6 oz of mixer (approximate)
  • optional garnish (suggestions: cucumber, mint sprig, lemon wedge)
Build in a highball or Collins glass. Add ice, whisky, top with mixer. Stir to chill. Garnish if desired.

Paul John Nirvana whisky sour

Paul John Nirvana Whisky Sour
  • 2 oz Paul John Nirvana whisky
  • 1/2 oz egg white (optional, vegan alternative 1/2 oz unsalted garbanzo bean water from can)
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup (chai simple syrup recommended)
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Dry shake all ingredients, add ice and shake 30-40 seconds. Double strain into coupe. Add 3 drops of bitters to the foam. Optional: draw a design by swirling through the bitters drops with a toothpick. I also added a dried bit of rose hips for a pretty garnish.

Paul John Nirvana Cobble Hill

Paul John Nirvana Cobble Hill (Manhattan variation)
  • 2 oz Paul John Nirvana whiskey
  • 1 oz Amaro Montenegro
  • 3 slices of cucumber (1 slice for garnish)
  • 2 dashes of bitters
Muddle 2 slices of cucumber in mixing tin or glass, add whisky and the amaro Montenegro, a couple dashes of bitters. Stir to chill, about 30-40 seconds. Strain into a coupe. You may double strain if you don’t want cucumber bits. Garnish with cucumber slice.
The original recipe is from famed bartender Sam Ross who also invented the Penicillin drink almost every Scotch drinker I know loves.
Bonus: you should watch my video on how to make the Cobble Hill. It’s proof dogs love me!

My set up for making drinks on a zoom call

Do you see the cucumber ribbon garnish. I went super fancy for the online tasting. If you want to make the ribbons, cut the side of a cucumber about a quarter inch in for a nice wide flat surface. Then go to town with your veggie peeler. Stop when you get to the seeds. I picked some nice ribbons and bunched them on a pick. You could do less ribbons and wider loops but I rather liked the excessive (so extra!) cucumber.

Paul John Oloroso and PX casks tasting

And how was the tasting last night? We first started with the Paul John Classic then the Oloroso and PX casks. I tend to prefer Oloroso when drinking whisky with sherry but I found myself exploring the PX one more. I liked both though. Then we tried the peated which I’ve had before and we found it made a great highball!

Paul John Whisky

Whisky Monster’s Nirvana review

Southern California Whiskey Club

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