The IWSC is launching a new spirits mixer category for the 2018 competition: whisky and soda.
In these categories, the spirits are judged based on how well the product pairs with the mixer. Producers already entering spirits into the competition can choose to also enter the mixer categories for an additional £60.
The IWSC is the only competition that also judges spirits with mixers. It already has categories for rum and cola, rum and ginger beer, gin and tonic, and vodka and tonic, and the new whisky category will accept all whiskies, including Scotch, bourbon and sour mash.
IWSC Tasting Manager Pip Mortimer said “The new whisky and soda category came about because it’s a traditional cocktail mix – simple, easy, and quite a classic way of drinking scotch.
“As with all the spirit mixer categories, we’re trying to capture the way a consumer might approach a drink, as many of us do prefer to drink our spirits as mixers. With the explosion in popularity of gin and the rise of both variety and quality of mixers, it seemed like a logical step to create a mixer category.
“As the range and variety of mixers has continued, we’ve continued to increase the variety of mixer categories on offer”, she said.
When judging spirits with mixers, judges must consider how the spirit reacts with the mixer, as well as whether or not the flavour is well balanced, says spirits consultant Veronika Karlova, who judges vodka and mixers at the IWSC.
“Sometimes judging a spirit itself is easier than judging it with a mixer as, with a neat spirit, you know what to expect and what to taste for. Spirit with a mixer is a combination of two different beverages, which can challenge your taste buds.
“The spirits mixer category is a nice and refreshing addition to spirits judging. Many of the mixers work very well with popular spirits like vodka, gin, rum and whisky. It’s certainly an interesting experience for the palate”, she said.
Enter your products into the spirits mixer category for an additional £60 here. All entrants must enter the main competition to be judged in these categories.