Sipping on Johnnie Ginger with James Marsden

Westworld star James Marsden was in Delhi to talk about all things Scotch on International Scotch Day

Paulami Sen Published :  16th February 2018 06:00 AM   |   Published :   |  16th February 2018 06:00 AM

Ervin Trykowski and James Marsden at Bohca-Bar & Restaurant at Delhi.

What better way to celebrate Scotch Whisky other than raising a toast with a blue-eyed heartthrob who was recently chosen by an international magazine as the world’s most handsome man? Around 10 years ago, when I watched 27 Dresses, did I ever think that I would meet the cynical but dashing Kevin Doyle aka James Marsden? Well, no! But did that happen? Yes.

Ervin and James at the after-party

As the Global Ambassador of International Scotch Day, the dashing James Marsden was expected at the Bohca, a bar and restaurant at Siri Fort, where we waited restless. However, the anticipation took a sweet and sour twist  as  Ervin Trykowski, the first Global Scotch Whisky Ambassador for The Singleton, served one of his experimental cocktails, the Desi Sour. A twist on the classic Whisky Sour, the cocktail combines citrusy tamarind and fresh lime juice to compliment the rich flavour of Johhnie Walker Red Label. Affable and energetic, Ervin can talk Scotch to whenever and wherever you like. He kept us engaged with interesting trivia, like why we celebrate International Scotch Day at all. “Because February 8 is the birthday of Alexander Walker, the son of Johnnie Walker, who is the man  credited for the global distribution of Scotch.” Finally, the star of 27 Dresses made a casual entry. He walked up to us in white and black-striped Tee paired with a blue jacket. Marsden introduced himself, engaged in a friendly banter with Ervin and stirred up a drink or two as well under the latter’s supervision. With some Johnnie Walker Red Label, he rustled up a drink called Johnnie Ginger. Like him it was tall, cool and refreshing, with a hint of ginger ale.Needless to say, we were slightly smitten by then, given his charm and his knowledge of Scotch. Delhi was his last pit stop for the LoveScotch campaign and ISD hosted by Diageo (one of the world’s largest producers of spirits) after celebrating in Manila, Philippines.

Oh so dapper: James Marsden

New rules
Although the good ol’ fashion ways of drinking your single malt neat or on the rocks is best enjoyed by those with a discerning palate, Scotch has certainly become more accessible. Abhishek Shahabadi, vice-president & Portfolio Head for Luxury and Premium brands, Diageo seems to agree and readily shares a few innovative ways of enjoying the drink. “Johnnie Ginger tastes fantastic with Johnnie Walker Red and a hint of lemon garnish, while the experience of  Johnnie Walker Black is accentuated with an orange garnish.” Ervin chips in to say that one shouldn’t ever stop experimenting with local ingredients. “In China, they drink with green tea, while in Taipei with soda water much like it is done here,” he says, adding that he researched about masala soda (banta as they say in Delhi) before coming to India,
to see if he could make something with it.

Chef Megha Kohli

Pair it right
What’s a good Scotch experience without delectable food? What can we pair Scotch with, we ask Ervin.  “Everything,” he says, adding,  “It is not about pairing food to Scotch, it is about pairing Scotch to food. Because the Scotch has a really versatile flavour profile.” At the after-party we tried the  Braised pork belly, kombucha with Scotch glaze as we sipped on our Johnnie Ginger. The dish, cooked by Chef Megha Kohli from Lavaash By Saby, had a sweet and sour tinge which we washed down with our cocktail.  Also worthwhile was what Chef Radhika Khandelwal from Fig & Maple had on offer – Scotch-infused pulled Goat Bahn Mi, sprinkled with a generous amount of Scotch, cilantro and cucumber salad. The other chefs at the do included Meherwan Bawa from Artisan Meats and Sadeev Pasricha from Bohca.