“Whisky can elevate a cocktail from its bold flavours alone,” said Kaitlyn Stewart on the perennial, all-important question of whether exceptional Scotch whisky should be drunk any other way except neat or with a drop of water. 

Kaitlyn Stewart (Image credit: Diageo)

This is a fact that even Scotch whisky purists are inclined to agree with, but Stewart knows exactly how the spirit has the ability to create a remarkable cocktail. The talented bartender grew up in the hospitality industry, and has added several notable bars to her resume throughout her career before taking the title as World’s Best Bartender at the 2017 Diageo World Class Global Finals.

Now, she’s hoping to give Scotch lovers a fresh, bold perspective on enjoying their favourite pour. “I think for the purists, the idea of mixing whisky with anything other than a drop of water is sacrilegious. And for the rebels, like myself, mixing whisky into cocktails only elevates the whisky and showcases a whole other side to the delicious liquid,” she mused. 

Scotch whisky, particularly the exceptional blends from Johnnie Walker’s portfolio are often imbued with layers upon layers of flavours, all of which vary drastically. Stewart advises that it’s important to look at the bigger picture so that when choosing a whisky to complement the other flavours, they all match in perfect harmony. 

The Johnnie Walker Blue Label. (Image credit: Diageo)

Unsurprisingly, Stewart’s go-to for cocktail making has always been Johnnie Walker. “The Johnnie Walker Black Label has a fun, playful, approachable smoke to it that’s excellent in cocktails. The Johnnie Walker Green Label has a nice long and spicy finish that is always a stand-out in any cocktail, while the Johnnie Walker Blue Label has such incredible depth of character and layers of flavour that always adds something special,” she says.

To drive home the point that classic cocktails can be reimagined with the help of good Scotch whisky, the award-winning bartender reinvented three signature recipes, choosing to use the prestigious Johnnie Walker Blue Label as the anchor in each. 

Here’s how you too can enjoy your whisky in a brand new way.