Bottle-to-soda mixers for international drinks

Written by By Amanda Palmer, CNN Hong Kong, Hong Kong Written by Amanda Palmer, CNN Hong Kong, Hong Kong British whiskey brand King Edward VII (K.E.T.) is launching the country’s first triple sec variant…

Bottle-to-soda mixers for international drinks

Written by By Amanda Palmer, CNN Hong Kong, Hong Kong Written by Amanda Palmer, CNN Hong Kong, Hong Kong

British whiskey brand King Edward VII (K.E.T.) is launching the country’s first triple sec variant today. It’s called “Omicron,” and is the fourth addition to the company’s four-year-old bottle of iconic bottle in a row, which has earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest-running bottle campaign. It’s also a nod to how the whiskey–which was originally launched in the UK (where it was left uncovered and decomposing in the cellar for a thousand years)–has slowly morphed into a signature international drink.

Co-founder Simon Marshall has made a hobby of pushing the boundaries of traditional cask-strength whisky, first in the US, where he’s delivered a large-format bottle infused with hibiscus flowers and high-heritage flavors like bittersweet vanilla and gooseberry, and more recently in Australia, where he will present an item with a blue-and-white zigzag label and infuse it with gummi bears, kangaroo and a sleeping dragon.

He said he initially started experimenting with experimentation with new mixers for the same cherry-and-bitter essence spirit he’d made into a gin-like drink, called Jack Quay. But other than experimenting with new fruits and fruits that wouldn’t make sense in cocktail recipes, he didn’t seriously pursue the idea of an over-the-top soda.

Looking to the UK, Marshall asked for photos of old bottles that were housed in the George V Bar at Lancaster House, the imperial residence of King Edward VII , who’s made a habit of sharing whiskey with friends in the evening (when he was not actively carrying out his official duties). Following the double win that engendered in a blurring of the legal separation between beer and whiskey, Marshall said, K.E.T. realized that this was the perfect venue for a new whiskey drinker to taste it and decide whether to try it in the future.

Read the rest of the story on CNN Asia Pacific.

King Edward VII, UK, 2005. Credit: Courtesy King Edward VII, Ltd.

The King Edward VII (K.E.T.) single malt whisky is heavily reliant on high-acidity; the ABV is 47.5% and, as Marshall puts it, it is “a cocktail of pain.” Because it’s from a whiskey-to-soda ratio ratio that differs depending on your preference, there are no restrictions on the labels that come with it; “we don’t bother with a whole bunch of complicated rules,” he says. Toilet bowls, skulls and skulls are already plastered on the back–whether you’re drinking it like the world’s number one tourist destination or the eighth postcard picture of “Amazing Grace,” it’s probably the souvenir you want to see.

We tasted it warm out of the bottle, and while it lacked the faint notes that likely emanate from being aged on the rocks for up to a thousand years, the soda did offer a hint of caramel and raisin that made the drink that much more appealing. In the bottle, it’s around 95% water, 5% soda–or slightly more than the similarly bitter but more subtle (for this type of drink) “navy top” variety.

Some might think it’s bad to kiss your airplane after takeoff, but we don’t. Thanks to K.E.T., and a museum in Hong Kong dedicated to the hotel where the Russian diplomat was poisoned during World War II, at least we now know what to do with a stolen suitcase, a too-big umbrella and a tall glass.

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