Scotch whisky brand Ardbeg hosts BBQ 'cook along' and cocktail making

Online series created to connect with an at-home audience.

Ardbeg: DJ BBQ will lead the cookery sessions
Ardbeg: DJ BBQ will lead the cookery sessions

Single malt whisky brand Ardbeg is hosting a virtual BBQ "cook along" with YouTube chef DJ BBQ. He will be joined by Brendan McCarron, the distillery's head of maturing whisky stocks, who will demonstrate how to create a smoky Ardbeg cocktail to pair with the food.

The LVMH brand is aiming to connect with an audience that is spending more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The lesson will be broadcast via Instagram live on 24 July and is part of the "Ardbeg Smoke Sessions" campaign, which aims to target the "new, young, non-traditional whisky-loving market". The campaign also includes an online three-part series in which DJ BBQ – whose real name is Christian Stevenson – appears in various locations showcasing Ardbeg-based cocktails with different BBQ dishes. The series concludes in Islay in Scotland, where the spirit originated.

The project is being delivered by TCO London.

Galina Grozdanova, global senior brand manager at Ardbeg, said: "As one of the smokiest whiskies on the shelf, Ardbeg has a unique space to play in. We are passionate about smoky flavours and wanted to work with TCO and DJ BBQ to create the loudest, craziest, smokiest cookout and cocktail series, that both reflects our brand and attracts a new whisky drinker who is looking for big and bold flavours.

"The series finale came home to Ardbeg in Islay where naturally we learn how to smoke a side of salmon on an open fire and pair it with an Ardbeg An Oa Bloody Mary – tasty in the extreme."

D’Arcy Doran, head of strategy at TCO London, said: "We wanted to create an avant-garde whisky series about experimenting with taste and smoky flavours.

"We knew in doing so that it might upset the traditional 'only on the rocks' whisky drinkers, but Ardbeg was continually supportive in letting us push through and create recipes that aim to engage and resonate with a wider audience who hopefully go on to try whisky in new and interesting ways."