Heather Greene isn't just one of the worlds few female whiskey experts and official ambassador for Glenfiddich scotch, she's also an accomplished singer-songwriter.
She and her partner in music, Adam Williams, have put together cool, mellow, urban music to accompany a perfect glass of whiskey for the series "Music to Drink Whiskey By." They'll be bringing this unique experience to South Florida tonight at the United Way Miami Wine & Food Festival. The idea is to just sit back, relax, drink some whiskey, learn about booze, and have the music enhance your experience.
We talked to Greene about her preferred way to drink her favorite beverage, the best way to drink whiskey in Miami, and what it's like working in a man's world. She even shared a couple of recipes with us, so we can get sauced at home the correct way.
Short Order: So, you used to be a musician. Do you still play?
Heather Greene: Oh, yeah, I'm definitely still a musician. I created a lot of the music we're doing tomorrow night, original music with DJ Adam Williams and together, we have a new record out called Fair Lawn and it's under the name Argon 40.
Obviously, you've done all the research, you've seen I'm pretty much into whiskey. So, this year, I created an experience, "Music to Drink Whiskey By" while serving some beautiful scotches the bartender is also making some gorgeous cocktails, and then Adam plays the music while I sort of host the party.
What's it like being a woman in a man's world? Do you feel like people don't always take you seriously?
Yeah, they do. It's definitely changing and that's really wonderful, so over this past four or five years I've been in this industry, heavily on the scotch side of it, the whiskey side, I've seen a huge change. I've seen more new consumers coming in, and being curious and enjoying beautiful single malt scotches. And I'm lucky enough to work around one of the most beautiful, with one of the most beautiful distilleries in Scotland, which is Glenfiddich and they create these beautiful whiskeys. You know with whiskey, you get these gorgeous and lush flavors over time, sitting in these beautiful barrels that they build at the cooperage over the course of 12, 15, 18, 21 years, and the way they use these barrels to get these beautiful flavors, and they kind of pioneered that way they use these barrels and cast these beautiful flavors, and it really opens up this new variety and this new world of experiencing scotch.
What I've noticed is that somebody like Glenfiddich pioneered some of these new, beautiful ways to age whiskey in combination with having these really wonderful events like the one I'm doing tomorrow night, we're able to really reach out, and I think just by nature, because we're going to have beautiful whiskey and because I have the freedom to do some really wonderful things that are non-traditional for whiskey, I'm starting to see more of a wider demographic really enjoying it. I also think the celebration of food shows and entertaining at home, and I think the next frontier after wine would naturally be brown spirits, so you're starting to hear women say, "I want a little bit of that, too."
What is your personal favorite or preferred way to drink whiskey?
Oh, that's a really good question, well it changes. Like I said, I actually really, I've been really enjoying making some classic cocktails. So, I've been making one of my favorite cocktails... well, actually one of my new favorites is one I sort of created and it's Glenfiddich 12 with Dolin Vermouth Blanc, some peach biters and fresh lemon over ice. It's just delicious. So, it's kind of a variation on a classic cocktail. I love old fashioned. Things like that I think work really well in Miami. We're going to feature some really beautiful cocktails tomorrow night. We're going to redefine ways of drinking whiskey.
So, I like in a cocktail when I'm in a place like Miami, I like to drink a younger whiskey over ice, which some people think is not the way to drink whiskey, but I actually happen to think it's a really wonderful way if it's 80 degrees, you add ice to wonderful single malt scotch, and you're gonna condense, what they say is you're condensing the flavor so you don't get the richness, but when you do that, you also are gaining a lot of like nice vanilla, a silkiness, smooth, refreshing drink you can have in warm weather.
So, tomorrow we also have a Glenfiddich 12 on the rocks, if it's the finish of the evening, I do a darker, richer single malt, something like a Glenfiddich 30, if I'm lucky enough to be around that, the Glenfiddich 15 is a nice, rich, spicy whisky, too, and I like to have that after dinner is well.
1.5 oz Glenfiddich
3/4 fresh lime
1/2 agave nectar
Dash of Licor 43
Served in hi-ball over ice with no salt rim.
The Ruby Bean
½ part Glenfiddich 12YO
½ part Lillet Rouge
¼ part Licor 43
½ part orange juice
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Combine ingredients and shake well. Strain over fresh ice in an Rocks glass. Garnish with a blood orange half moon and rose bud.
The Glenfiddich "Music to Drink Whiskey By" after-party with the United Way Wine and Food Festival starts at 9 p.m. at Village of Merrick Park tonight at 358 San Lorenzo Avenue, Coral Gables.