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.
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.
There have been many drinks bearing the name Automobile Cocktail. Two of them are particularly interesting.
Why would a posh LA restaurant name a popular cocktail after a competitor?
At some point in the mid-1930s, the exclusive Vendome Club did just that. The Vendome—sort of a west-coast 21—started serving a version of the whiskey sour named after one of its Hollywood neighbors: the Brown Derby.
Continue reading “The Brown Derby Cocktail”
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”
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”
One of the delights of the Smoky Martini Cocktail is its accommodating nature. There seems to be no canonical recipe, only a loose ingredients list: gin (or vodka), Scotch (or Irish, blended or single malt), dry vermouth (optional), lemon twist (optional). Here is flavor opportunity broad enough to satisfy the tastes of any Scotch drinker, and even those who do not consider themselves in the Scotch–drinking ranks.