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Why You Should Make A Mamie Taylor Drink With Japanese Whisky

Mamie Taylor cocktail
Mamie Taylor cocktail - Bhofack2/Getty Images

The Mamie Taylor is a pre-prohibition classic, combining scotch, freshly squeezed lime juice, and ginger beer, stirred in a highball glass and garnished with a lemon or lime slice. Bartenders with a more pious reverence for the past or an especially stringent penchant for minimalism forego the lime juice altogether, making the Mamie a stripped-down two-parter with scotch and ginger beer. It's a simple cocktail with intense flavor, made even more intense by one reimagined ingredient swap: Trade the scotch for Japanese whisky.

Per the lore, the Mamie Taylor was first invented in 1899, and within just a few years, bartenders had already gotten so tired of making it that they raised the price tag. If diehard fans wanted them to make a Mamie, they had to be willing to fork over a little extra cash, which makes a statement considering the Mamie is just two ingredients that don't even require a shaker. The price rises may be apocryphal, but it's such a good story we want to believe it. Still, for all its hype, the Mamie Taylor faded into near-obscurity by the 1950s, so the point is, the old gem might be due for a modern upgrade.

Japanese whisky is made from malted barley mash and is typically twice-distilled and aged in casks made from Japanese oak (mizunara), sherry casks, or American oak bourbon casks. The resulting spirit is light and mellow, with notes of sandalwood that complement the Mamie Taylor's spicy ginger beer.

Read more: The 40 Absolute Best Cocktails That Feature Only 2 Ingredients

Japanese Whisky Is The Name Of The Mamie Game

Hibiki Suntory Japanese whisky
Hibiki Suntory Japanese whisky - Viktor Babintsev/Shutterstock

Japanese whisky totes a golden hue, but more than its color, the spirit is characterized by its smooth texture and refined flavor. Still, beyond that general profile, the spirits are highly varied from one brand to the next. Japanese whisky is currently subjected to very little regulation; the water must be extracted in Japan, and every step of production from saccharification to bottling has to take place in Japan, but that's pretty much as far as it goes. Each distillery produces unique whisky with its own flavors and aromas, and (predictably) a wide range of price tags to match. We've rounded up a few solid mid-priced options to help get your bevy brainstorm rolling.

Thanks to its growing global demand, Japanese whisky by the Suntory distillery is commonly stocked in American liquor stores. Toki Suntory Japanese Whisky ($37.99 via Drizly) is a solid budget-friendly option featuring a dimensional yet accessible profile of pink grapefruit, green apple, and vanilla. For diehard American whiskey fans, Akashi White Oak Japanese Blended Whisky ($44.99) is a smokier option with a leathery, nutty profile and notes of marshmallow and dark fruit. Slightly pricier is the Mars Shinshu Iwai Japanese Whisky ($79.99), with a 45% ABV for Mamie Taylors with a little extra bite. It'll set you back a little, but its top notes of vanilla and baking spices with subtle pear and quince would work beautifully to create an effortless, dimensional highball.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.