This year, more than ever, we've learned to appreciate life's small pleasures.
You know the ones. Those absolutely cracking days when there’s not a cloud in sight. Being able to stream your favourite nostalgic TV show from your bed (or the bus). Saying hello your neighbour’s fluffball of a puppy. Two more on the list: the first bite of cake and the first sip of a cocktail.
The folks at Scottish whisky brand Glenmorangie aims to capture the joy of those last two in its newest release, A Tale of Cake. To launch the spirit in Australia, Glenmorangie has teamed up with Barangaroo House’s Smoke Bar to release a limited-edition cocktail and cake pairing, dubbed a Caketail. Read on to learn how this new whisky was created, how Smoke’s talented team put their own spin on the flavours and how to enjoy them both out in Sydney and at home.
This tipple came about after Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation Dr Bill Lumsden was reminiscing about his own joyful dessert-related memories — baking with his granny and eating a birthday cake his daughter had made for him. Lumsden began experimenting with dessert wine casks sourced from popular Hungarian producer Royal Tokaji.
He began with the usual process of making Glenmorangie’s single malt: distilling it in the towering copper stills and ageing in bourbon casks to give its signature citrus notes. The product was then transferred to the Royal Tokaji casks for further ageing. The end result was A Tale of Cake, a complex drop that releases tropical fruit aromas (passionfruit, peach and mango) and sweet candy-like flavours — think honey, white chocolate and apricot — followed by a smooth aftertaste of honeycomb, chocolate and nuts.
To celebrate the launch of A Tale of Cake in Australia, Glenmorangie had Smoke Bar’s bar manager Pauric Kennedy design a festive cocktail with notes of marzipan, chocolate, spice and hints of fruit.
“I based the flavours in my drink upon a memory of Christmas cake that my family used to have when I would holiday in Dublin as a child. I would always get the piece with the ‘Lucky Charm’ so I’ve always had a fond memory,” Kennedy tells Concrete Playground.
The cocktail costs $23 but, if you’d like to truly treat yourself (which we think you should), then we suggest adding on the Caketail dessert for an additional $17. Chef Tom Haynes has put a spin on a classic Barangaroo House dessert, featuring a ‘magnum’-style base of chocolate almond mousse covered in a hard chocolate shell. A coffee and A Tale of Cake-flavoured liqueur has been folded through the mousse, and it’s served with a hazelnut ice cream and an almond hazelnut crumble.
As we head into the season of long days and balmy evenings, it seems only fitting that you enjoy this delightful dessert pairing outdoors — either while enjoying the sunset or after a long evening of wining and dining. Thankfully, Smoke Bar can deliver on both fronts. For the best views of the harbour and the sun setting behind the sparkling city lights, nab a table along the very edge of the timber deck. It’s here that greenery spills over the side of the building, contributing to the summery rooftop garden vibe.
If you can see this cocktail and cake pairing playing more of an after-dinner role, then Smoke is suitable for that, too. It calls the top floor of the three-tiered Barangaroo House home. So, you can enjoy an aperitif at House Bar on the ground level and dinner at signature restaurant Bea on level one, before reaching the apex — both literally and figuratively.
The Caketail pairing is available from Smoke Bar from Monday, November 23 to Wednesday, December 23.
An at-home date night, a dinner party digestif, a hump day treat — here’s how to make Pauric Kennedy’s creation, whatever the occasion.
40ml Glenmorangie A Tale of Cake
10ml Gonzales Byass sweet vermouth
3 dashes of chocolate bitters
7.5ml orgeat syrup
1 pinch citric acid
45ml soda water
In a cocktail shaker, stir A Tale of Cake, sweet vermouth, chocolate bitters, orgeat syrup and citric acid. Strain into a lowball glass over a large ice block, top with soda and mix. Garnish with the lemon twist and rosemary sprig.
All images: Kimberley Low.