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Cocktail of the Week: The Glenlivet ‘Caribbean Fire’

Hot sauce — in a cocktail? Scoff if you must, but this tropical take on a classic Bloody Mary whisks Scotch into summer in peppery, piquant style…

Whisky drinkers tend to be straight shooters. They have strong, spirited opinions about everything from the perfect Scotch-sipping glassware to whether or not you should be dropping ice into your dram.

And yet, one of the world’s finest whisky distilleries, The Glenlivet, has been breaking new ground and blazing new trails since it was built in 1824. In fact, founder and farmer George Smith was operating an illicit distillery at his home in Moray before he established The Glenlivet — though he soon went straight, and became the first man to legally distill single malt whisky in the entire Glen.

The move angered his fellow felons and unlawful whiskymakers. And so, to safeguard his freshly legitimate distillery, Smith accepted a gift of two flintlock pistols from the Duke of Gordon, champion of the 1823 Excise Act and whose land Smith was residing on. He slung them around his wide leather belt and primed himself to protect some of the finest single malt Scotch in Speyside. It was a fiery, headstrong move; and shows a spirit demonstrated by the The Glenlivet to this day.

Guns still blazing, the most recent release from the distillery follows in Smith’s forward-thinking footsteps. With more bang that the old whiskymaker’s two pistols, a new smoking hot sauce has been launched by the brand — blended using the first ever single malt whisky made for summer; The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve.

It’s a peppery, piquant collaboration with the award-winning and self-proclaimed purveyors of heat, South London Sauce Company. Fired up with rich pineapple and zingy yellow habanero chilli, the tastebud-trembling sauce has The Glenlivet’s summer whisky swirled through it; itself a tropical twist on whisky and brimming with notes of rich caramel toffee, sweet notes of pear and red apple and dark amber tones.

Named ‘Smokin’ Hot Pistols’ for the founder’s dual duelling weapons, it’s a limited-edition, punch-packing sensation of a sauce — and one that works wonders when slathered across anything from the barbecue; whether that be flame-grilled chicken fillets or cobs of charred corn. Or, if you’re looking to blaze a trail in that groundbreaking Glenlivet spirit, why not stir it into a cocktail?

You heard us. To take classic cocktails from mild to wild, we’d suggest dropping a shot or two of hot sauce into the mix — and so would The Glenlivet. The distillery has developed a signature summery serve in partnership with the South London Sauce Company that promises to bring the heat and spice up the sweet notes of The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve.

The ‘Caribbean Fire’ is an evocatively named, soul infused sipper — one which makes the most of a smooth spirit that was aged in barrels that previously held Caribbean rum. Topped with grapefruit soda and pineapple juice, it’s a cocktail boasting an exotic edge; with added agave nectar bringing out the well-balanced, silky finish and notes of ripe, syrupy bananas.

It’s inspired by spicy cocktails such as the Bloody Mary and the Picante. And, while its tangy flavours may have you thinking second thoughts, we’d recommend you follow the pioneering, experimental example of The Glenlivet founder George Smith — and bite the bullet.

How to make The Glenlivet’s ‘Caribbean Fire’


  • 50ml The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve
  • 25ml Pineapple Juice
  • 2 tsp Smokin’ Hot Pistols (or more, depending on heat preference)
  • 15ml Lime Juice
  • 10ml Agave Nectar
  • Top Pink Grapefruit Soda


  1. Fill a shaker with cubed ice
  2. Add all ingredients, except for the soda
  3. Fill a tall cocktail glass with cubed ice
  4. Shake until chilled, and strain into the glass
  5. Top up with Pink Grapefruit Soda and stir lightly.
  6. Top with more ice if required
  7. Garnish with Pineapple Leaves and Wedge, and a thin slice of Red Chilli
The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve

The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve


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Want more spirited tips? These are the best whisky glasses (to do your Scotch justice)…

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