Jan 26, 2011

'Taste More' Johnnie Walker Blue/Black Label w/ Thai Cuisine: Part2

On the social scene lately I have observed an increasing number of persons, mainly young gentlemen, becoming more discerning about their premium liquor selections. Single malt Scotch whiskey, Glenlivet, Johnnie Walker Blue but more often Johnnie Walker Black are their top choices. Many a time, the cardinal 'sin' has been spotted. What 'sin'? Mixing ultra premium alcohol with Red Bull or adding milk to what's sure to massacre super-smooth whiskey. *gasps*

What's the best way to experience Johnnie Walker Blue versus Johnnie Walker Black?
Well this 'Taste More' invitation would see MEG getting the answer from
Johnnie Walker's Regional Brand Ambassador, Arturo Savage

on his maiden trip to the world's 3rd coolest country - Jamaica. Arturo flew over 14hrs from Scotland to attend this exclusive function held at Kingston's newest lounge on Constant Spring Road, The House. The lounge was perfect for this tasting as it felt as though we were
inside Arturo's personal living room.

Winford Williams [On Stage], Safia Cooper, Levaughn Flynn, Tony Patel, Fern Elise (LiveStush.com) and 
Chris Reckord (Bin 26) were some guests of the Diageo Team 
Teika, Levaughn, Safia, Arturo and Latoya: The Diageo team at The House
Arturo's charming personality shone through as we got a deeper  appreciation for Blue Label and Black Label whiskey. Complimentary appetizers - Spring Rolls with sweet dipping sauce, Chicken skewers and Hot Wings were also served. Thumbs up to The House for their delicious finger fare!

At the end of the 'Taste More' presentation, MEG had a chance to talk with Arturo.
MEG with Diageo's Arturo and Teika Samuda
Photo credit: Fern Elise, LiveStush.com  [Thanks Fern!!!]
MEG: For our readers, what is the defining difference between Blue Label and Black Label?
AS: Black Label is no better than Blue than Blue is better than Black. The difference is in the occasion :-) For that once in a lifetime occasion (the birth of a newborn, a loved one's graduation or wedding) select Blue Label. For that everyday celebration with friends, then you'll find Black Label gives you so much more. You see Johnnie Walker just depends on the occasion. [What a brilliant answer! MEG - is a new convert :-)]

MEG: How does one truly appreciate this smooth yet complex scotch?
AS: Blue Label is hand-blended and best enjoyed in neat*. [*Poured directly from the bottle with no ice or mixer] [Politely whisper to any one you see doing otherwise]

Depth of layers in Black Label gives it more flavours and makes it the #1 Deluxe scotch blended whiskey! This smooth, whiskey captures the best of both east and west coast whiskies and is best enjoyed one layer at a time.

Photo credit: Fern Elise, LiveStush.com
Arturo Savage shared various ways to explore the Black Label experience. They are: -

1. Chilled mouth* serve: Highlights the rich, fruity flavors, honeyed-toned smooth and silky east coast whiskey. 
[*Straight serve of Black after chilling the mouth w/ water]

2. The Black Ice* Serve: Brings out the light, fresh flavors - floral and fruity [* Black label over ice]

3. The Water* Serve: Releases the iconic, peaty notes of powerful whiskies that help to create a unique blend with distinctly deep and smoky flavor.

    4. Black Ginger: Add Black Label with Ginger Ale 
and shake over ice. Garnish with a twist of lime.

[Photo credit: Fern Elise, LiveStush.com]

For your next ladies night out occasion - Get into Black Label Mojito by adding Black to the classic Cuban cocktail,
• 1oz Johnnie Walker Black Label
• 0.5 oz simple syrup
• 0.5 oz peach schnapps with 2 leaves of mint
• 1 splash of sours mix
• fresh lime juice
Add the above and shake over ice. Garnish and serve.

'Go Deeper into Black': The Johnnie Walker Pavilion @ Jamaica Jazz Festival Jan 27-29

• Be sure to stop by the Taste More bar to meet Arturo to have an engaging and fun-tasting, fine-whiskey experience. While you are at it ask the truth about men in Scottish kilts (wink).

From Arturo we learned, Johnnie Walker is for every occasion and immediately envisioned having Johnnie Walker Black with authentic Thai cuisine. Off MEG went to telephone friends. "How about an evening with friends for a 'Black Thai' combo? The delivery style would be fashioned from a Khantoke dining experience." All were intrigued by the idea and must confess they are often open to being 'epicurean guinea pigs'. In advance of the 'Black Thai' dinner, through this blog, I will share more about the idea and what to expect.

KHANTOKE. High on my bucket list was a Khantoke dinner in Thailand. The Old Chiangmai Cultural Center lived up to my expectation and then some. Northern Thai delicacies were served on a wooden tray while visitors were treated to cultural dances including performances by the Karen and Lahu hill-tribes.
The audience was captivated by beautiful cultural clothing especially by 'the golden fingernail' dance, 'chicken' dance and the 'stick' dance. [The latter reminded me of a childhood Jamaican game  played with stones with lyrics "finger mash nuh cry memba ah play we ah play". Except in this instance 'stones' were 'bamboo sticks']. Of the eight (8) delicacies served at the Khantoke, gingery Pork proved to be my favorite dish. 

Dessert: Crispy rice cakes that were light and tasty. The meal ended with Thai Green tea (optional).

Sea Siam is one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Miami (off US -1, Perrine area). Fried fish Thai-style with sweet chili sauce [Plaa Nin Prik Bai Horapa] is customary as is spring roll when doing Asian with me. In the heart of Bangkok, Sukhumvitt Road, my friends and I secured a table for four at the Red Pepper Restaurant where our gastronomic journey began. The fish was fresh, delicious beyond description and perfectly cooked. One would easily be 'duped' into thinking there was no deep fat frying in oil. Here's the recipe!

Fried fish Thai-style with sweet chili sauce [Plaa Nin Prik Bai Horapa]
The fresh taste of sweet basil with fried fish is amazing [Serves 2]
10oz Whole Fish (scales and fins removed)
Enough oil to deep fry the fish.

2 tbp oil
6 gloves - garlic - crushed
1 onion - chopped
5 red chilies - thinly sliced
1 big green chili - sliced
1 tbs fish sauce
1tbs soy sauce
1/4 c, 4 tbs chicken stock
3/4c, 3/4oz sweet basil leaves
1/2 c, 1/2 oz coriander - chopped

METHOD: Deep fry the fish in very hot oil until it is crispy on both sides. To make the sauce, put the oil into a wok and add the garlic, onion and chilies and fry until then garlic starts to brown. Then add the fish sauce, soy sauce and chicken stock and fry for 1minute. Add the basil leaves and stir - fry well to combine. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce over the fish. Garnish with coriander.

Give the above a try and as usual post comments about your experience. Join us next Wednesday when we will continue our food finds from our Thai trip and report on this year's Jamaica Jazz Festival. We wish TurnKey Productions and performers (on the small and large stage), well. Here's hoping Jamaican treats will be enjoyed by Regina Belle, Maroon5, SWV, Air Supply (given their 3rd occasion) and more.

Megaliciously yours,



  1. Try to use herbal shampoo which contains amla, reetha, mehandi or neem.
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  2. These are delectable dishes I'd love to taste. Would also love to have unavailable ingredients here shipped to my home.


Thank you for your comment. Have a Megalicious Day!