If someone had told me when I was a kid that one day I would be sitting in a warehouse in London on a hay bale drinking a whisky cocktail, I’d have looked at them with an angled head, squinted my brow and then told them they were silly. Hell, if someone had said that to me three years ago I’d have done the same thing but with more of an arched eyebrow to note my disbelief.

But, then, such is life. And that situation is exactly where I found myself recently for the kick off of the 2013 Monkey Shoulder For One Night Only events.

Malt Jockey Monkey Shoulder cocktailsIt was, perhaps, an unfortunate occurrence that the night in question saw freezing winds that managed to bite through every inch of clothing, leave noses red (and not from too much drink) and make the warehouse-goers keep all their layers on. At the end of March, one doesn’t expect this even in chilly England. But this is no ordinary year, weather wise.

And so, arriving at the warehouse I greeted the proffered purple and black rugby top (to keep everyone in the ‘jockey’ theme of the night) with outstretched, goosebumpy arms and glad grin. No amount of whisky could have warmed me through on that nippy eve.

Though my partner and I showed up early, the warehouse was already teeming with life from the besuited post-work crowd through to trendy Shoreditch folks who likely lived a stones-throw from the warehouse and who were probably on their way to another warehouse afterwards.

A large plastic horse greeted our entrance, while to our right piles of hay bales turned the scene to barn-chic. On a raised platform, two bars distributed the three cocktails of the eve (the Malt Jockey, the Ginger Brewskie and the Old Fashioned), while in between them sat a gloriously retro scalextrics horse racing track. At the back, the wafts of warmth from the Street Kitchen airstream kept customers nearby, absorbing the heat and appetising smells of pulled pork goodness.

As with other Monkey Shoulder events (check out these pieces on other FONO events here and here) the atmosphere was a mix of fun and randomness with a dash of ‘not taking life too seriously’. As always, it showed how whisky can be imbibed in a setting less than formal with a definite lack of tartan.

Malt JockeyAnd, freezing limbs aside, I enjoyed its revelry thoroughly. The Malt Jockey cocktail stood out for its richness, while the pulled pork burger from Street Kitchen was so glorious in its gooeyness and toppings that I shut out all the surrounding noise and joy while I immersed myself in its flavours.

In the end, the team behind Monkey Shoulder did what they do best: showed how to have fun with whisky. And it seemed that all attendees were happy with that fact. I look forward to seeing what the rest of the year has in store.


Have you been to a Monkey Shoulder For One Night Only event? Let Miss Whisky know what you thought of it in the comment section below!

For more information on Monkey Shoulder For One Night Only events, including how to get tickets, visit: www.monkeyshoulder.com/foronenightonly