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Scotch – Irish

Cynar and Scotch: The Choke and Smoke Cocktail

I’ve always had trouble with Scotch whisky when it comes to making cocktails. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this—the long history of cocktailing has only managed to come up with a handful of Scotch-based cocktails that have any semblance of balance and finesse.

Continue reading “Cynar and Scotch: The Choke and Smoke Cocktail”

What’s Wrong with the Blood and Sand Cocktail?

I wouldn’t normally write about the Blood and Sand Cocktail.

I don’t like it. I’ve never met anyone who likes it. The flavors make no sense to me. Four ingredients, all fighting with each other.

Harry Craddock must have seen something in it when he first published its peculiar formula in his 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. And drinkers with palates different from mine must like it, as evidenced by its continued presence in highly respected bar manuals more than eighty years after its creation.

(And, of course, there’s the theatrical value of that lurid name, riding the coattails of Rudolph Valentino’s 1922 movie. I’ll admit, that’s really good.)

But from my palate’s point of view, the Blood and Sand is really broken. So what makes this cocktail worth writing about?

Continue reading “What’s Wrong with the Blood and Sand Cocktail?”

Sazerac Variations: the Cooper Union Cocktail

In abstract terms, you could think of the Sazerac as an Old-Fashioned with a strongly aromatic rinse on the glass. Typically, it’s made with rye whiskey or cognac, but Phil Ward’s Cooper Union cocktail, though it looks like a Sazerac, is all about malt whiskey.

Continue reading “Sazerac Variations: the Cooper Union Cocktail”

The Automobile Cocktail, Two Ways

There have been many drinks bearing the name Automobile Cocktail. Two of them are particularly interesting.

Continue reading “The Automobile Cocktail, Two Ways”

Scotch and Irish—Cameron’s Kick

I suspect that every spirit ever made has been tried in cocktails. Some—vodka and gin come to mind—are naturals, blending readily with lots of other flavors. Rum and American whiskies do quite nicely, too.

And then there are the Scotch and Irish whiskies. Continue reading “Scotch and Irish—Cameron’s Kick”

Irish Whiskey and the Dubliner Cocktail

There are only a few cocktails based on Irish whiskey. My favorite? The Dubliner. Continue reading “Irish Whiskey and the Dubliner Cocktail”

The Blackthorne Cocktail

We have Gary Regan to thank for the modern Blackthorne Cocktail. The basic model of the drink has been around for something like a hundred years, Continue reading “The Blackthorne Cocktail”

Dangerous Drinks: The Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour is all about flavor balance. The drink is very simple—just a spirit, some fresh lemon juice, sugar and water. Too much lemon is just plain harsh. Too much sugar is cloying. Somewhere in between is a simple, tasty refresher. Like the Old Fashioned, it provides a welcome break from the flavor complexities of more sophisticated cocktails. Continue reading “Dangerous Drinks: The Whiskey Sour”

The Scotch Saratoga

I love it when forgotten ideas return, especially the ones I’ve shrugged off as “surely doomed,” and then they reappear as great stuff.

That’s how Scotch whisky got into my Saratoga cocktail. Continue reading “The Scotch Saratoga”

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