Suntory whisky masterclass with Zoran Peric

ByThe Cocktail Lovers


Suntory delights

Congratulations to Kalpesh Ruparell who won our competition for a bottle of Yamazaki 12 year-old whisky and an exclusive one-to-one Suntory tutorial with Zoran Peric. Turns out Kalpesh knows a thing or two about cocktails – he’s been managing Bar Dos Hermanos in Leicester for the past five years. Still, that didn’t stop him from making the most of the experience. He and his fiancé Pauline came to London and were whisked to the lush five-star Hotel Verta in Battersea where Zoran filled them in on the background of the portfolio of premium Japanese whiskies and treated them to a tutored tasting. We joined them at the bar to find out more…

Zoran talks through the Suntory portfolio

If you’ve never tasted Suntory whiskies before, prepare for a big surprise. The Yamazaki 12 yrs is delicate and elegant with notes of honey, clove, peach and vanilla on the nose and spiced wood, coconut and cranberry on the palate. Then there’s Hakushu. We tried the Hakushu 12 yrs, a gently peated whisky with fresh, green notes of apples and pears. Hibiki 17 yrs is a thing of beauty and sophistication with its delicate but complex characteristics – fruity on the nose and soft, mellow and smooth on the palate. Last but by no means least, we cracked open the Yamazaki 18 yrs, a deliciously matured expression filled to bursting with rich, jammy fruity notes.

Kalpesh enjoys one of Zoran’s whisky cocktails

We sipped them neat and in some simple but stunning whisky cocktails such as the ones here. Buy a bottle and try them out for Christmas.

Yamazaki Toji: Christmas Blazer

50ml Yamazaki 12 YO single malt whisky
15ml Mandarine Napoleon ingredients into a wide-topped glass
6ml absinthe
Brown sugar
Vanilla pod
Star anise
Orange peel

Stir half the whisky and all ingredients into a wide-topped glass and flame for 15 seconds. Warm the rest of the Yamazaki in a balloon glass. Pour flaming mix into the balloon glass for 5 seconds then extinguish by placing a napkin over the glass.

Santa’s Hakushu Martini: Christmas Day aperitif

50ml Hakushu 12 YO single malt whisky
20ml dry sherry
6ml sugar syrup
Lemon peel
Grapefruit peel

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass. Stir 30 times with lemon peel. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with curled grapefruit peel.


Yamazaki Yell: Boxing Day Banger

50ml Yamazaki 12 YO single malt whisky
15ml sweet sherry
Orange peel

Pour ingredients over ice in a mixing glass. Stir 30 times. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with curled orange peel.


For more details on Suntory whiskies, see

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers are Mr G and Ms S, a man and a woman who share a passion for cocktails. (We also happen to be married, so we’re cocktail lovers in more ways than one…)


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