We talk to Global Brand Ambassador Jenna Ba, about the thrill of flavour exploration and mixing, travelling the world and her favourite Haig Club cocktails!
How did you start out on the path of becoming a Whisky Ambassador?
It was in London in 2010 and I had just attended an excellent Scotch whisky tasting. This was the first time I tasted such remarkable nuances in flavour. From lighter, floral tropical fruits character to crisp green orchard fruit flavours to zingy, jammy, nutty, earthy notes that you can find in different Scotch whiskies. This was an authentically splendid tasting as the whisky was paired with charming stories of the people who make it and who enjoy it, hailing from distilleries and communities all over Scotland. This moment ignited a curiosity in me to learn how flavour is designed by expert distillers and blenders and what incredible drinks bartenders assemble together. More whisky tastings, journeys to Scotland, Ireland or the U.S. where whisky/whiskey is made, and some great books I’ve read have all contributed to a voyage in which every day I learn something new, and I feel curious and delighted.There are brilliant people within the global whisky community, the product is fascinating, and once you explore whisky, you unconsciously become an ambassador for the category.
What does your job entail?
My role involves wearing different hats which makes it particularly interesting. From working closely with our marketing and sales teams in how we communicate what makes Haig Club unique, to working with our innovation teams looking into what are the whiskies of tomorrow. No two days are the same.The best part is being actively engaged and connected with talented bartenders around the world demystifying single grain Scotch whisky for them and collaborating with them on interesting serves. I enjoy interacting regularly with the public and media about the beauty of whisky cocktails through thrilling events and online occasions.
What inspires you when making and talking about whisky?
Being an explorer!I take a lot of inspiration from my travels, discovering different flavours, food pairings and drinking rituals from around the world. Being a devoted tea lover, I delight in the way whisky is enjoyed across Asia, often in highballs with different teas - oolong tea is particularly mind blowing with whisky. Given the versatile nature of Haig Clubman, it’s easy to explore drinks with flavours inspired from global cultures. When making a sour cocktail such different notes will shine through, depending on whether lemon, grapefruit, calamansi, yuzu, bergamot, lime, or pomelo juice are used.
You've travelled a lot, where's the best place you've visited?
Every place had something that made it the best place – people, landscape, cuisine, music. Anywhere I am, I go to markets. I love the bustle of people interacting and getting a taste of the local fruits, herbs, and spices. A thriving scene of bars and restaurants is always exhilarating to experience, whilst being a hub for passionate people from different creative fields is what really makes a place stand out. And yet, there’s something about drinking Miami Vice cocktails, in Miami.
Whisky is lively! We talk about making your own rules as everyone’s palate is different, we are all unique and when you discover the flavours that stimulate you, the bliss is real, and the fun of mixing is boosted!Jenna Ba
Back to whisky / Haig uniqueness
Haig Club is unique in its expression, it’s a whisky that is accessible and very versatile. Due to it being a column distilled single grain scotch, it has this great capacity to carry flavour that makes it ideal for mixing. Smooth on the palate, I enjoy the vanilla and toffee notes that American white oak impart to the whisky. The bottle is so sleek and stylish and it’s a pleasure to pour liquid sunshine out of it.
Where is Haig Club made?
The distillery at Cameronbridge was established back in 1824 by John Haig, of the Haig family. There's a wonderful combination of traditional whisky production methods that go back two centuries and some incredibly advanced technical innovations that have been pioneered since it was first built. Someone visiting would see a combination of traditional buildings and cutting-edge technologies. They would also bump into some of the most talented and skilled whisky makers in Scotland.
Is there a right way to serve Haig Club?
Every moment and place might open a different way to serve it, either neat, in a long drink or a cocktail. The possibilities of mixing with Haig are vast, so anyone can easily find their mixer of choice or drink to twist and make theirs. If you like it, it’s the perfect serve, for you. We’ve collected some of the most beloved and accessible recipes HERE.
What's your favourite Haig Club cocktail?
Haig Espresso Martini at a brunch fits tastefully, it’s easy to twist by using a cacao liqueur or hazelnut instead of coffee liqueur. It’s especially great with grated chocolate on top!I like it warm too, just mixing the Scotch with a bit of liqueur and topped with hot coffee, served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream as an affogato cocktail. Sunny days call for a Haig-ball, muddled lime and orange wedges and a measure of Haig Club Mediterranean Orange topped with soda or lemonade. I would prepare some pitchers for sharing with friends.