Let Craft Whisk(e)y Finishes Inspire New Cocktail Riffs

Lolita Goh from Kuala Lumpur’s JungleBird wants you to celebrate International Whiskey Day with a clever Craft Whisky riff on a Rum classic

By: Tiff Christie|March 26,2024

Sure, it’s easy to celebrate International Whisk(e)y Day tomorrow with a Whisk(e)y cocktail, and there are a number you could choose from, anything from a Japanese Highball to an Old Fashioned or a New York Sour through to a Bourbon Julep.

But Lolita Goh from Kuala Lumpur’s JungleBird wants you to think a bit more outside the box and experiment with craft Whiskies and the riffs you can create with the variety of finishes.

To demonstrate this, she uses Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask (a whiskey that has been finished in Carribean rum casks) to create a riff on a traditional Pusser’s Rum cocktail, the Painkiller.

Called the 14 Of Hearts, this riff adds to Balvenie’s crafty expression by adding a little fresh Lime Juice to the original fresh Pineapple Juice but swapping out the Orange Juice for a rum-based Orange Liqueur. While they, of course, retain the Cream of Coconut, they have a house recipe (which we have included below) which is well worth trying.

To find out more about craft Whisk(e)y and the ageing and finishing expressions that are now being created, Goh suggests having a look at competitions such as Asia’s Spirit of Craft Awards to get a better idea of what is available.

So when you reach for a Whisk(e)y tomorrow, why not choose one that will not only provide an interesting sipping option but also allow you to mix up your cocktail riffs?

To connect with JungleBird KL, go to the bar’s Instagram

For more information on the Spirit Of Craft Awards, go to

14 Of Hearts



  • 45ml Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask
  • 25ml Clement Creole Shrubb (or substitute for an orange based liqueur)
  • 60ml Pineapple juice, fresh
  • 10ml Lime juice, fresh
  • 30ml JungleBird coconut cream (or substitute for Coco Lopez)


Add all ingredients to a shaker tin, top up with ice and shake to combine well. Dump into a pre-chilled stemmed wine glass. Garnish with fresh pineapple leaves, orange slice and freshly grated nutmeg.

JungleBird Coconut Cream – 100ml sweetened condensed milk, 150ml fresh young coconut water, 250ml coconut cream, 150g sugar (adjust accordingly to taste) – Combine all ingredients into a saucepot and simmer over low heat (not exceeding 70C) for about 20-30 minutes. Cool down and bottle. Store refrigerated.

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