Sunday, October 13, 2013

Deronda’s Glen & The Silverado Circumstance

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

From DrinkupNY: The Deanston Distillery is situated outside the town of Doune, Perthshire, and lies on the banks of the River Teith. The historic building dates back to 1785, when Deanston was actually operating as a cotton mill. It was converted to a full working distillery in 1966, using the soft waters of the river in the distillation of their single malt whisky. This water source also powers Deanston's electrically self-sustained facilities.

To create Deanston Virgin Oak, Master Distiller Ian MacMillan selected an array of young single malts, married them together, then finished the blend in freshly-charred new oak barrels from a small family-owned cooperage in Bardstown, Kentucky. Bottled without the use of chill-filtration, Virgin Oak offers a complex nose of barley, lemon zest, pear, vanilla and honey, accented by hints of peat smoke, apple and nutmeg. The virgin oak aging is more apparent on the palate, with lighter notes of candied fruit, toffee, caramel and vanilla balanced by a firm oak grip. A lively note of honeyed malt lingers through the finish.

Product of Scotland
Alcohol by Volume: 46.3%

Can I swoon now?  I mean this Scotch actually caught my attention.  Not as a mere dram, but as something that I’d really like to craft a couple of cocktails around.  Then of course I’d write about these drinks and perhaps weave a story around this experience.  Maybe the distillery will ask me to visit?  Doubtful.  I’m still hopeful though.
Maybe I’ve not been invited to Scotland because as a rule I’m not a Scotch whisky admirer.  The flavor and the Terroir are just lost on me.  I’m much more of a rye drinker or even bourbon.  Anything but Scotch.  That was until I tasted a wee glass of The Deanston Distillery’s whisky. 

The Deanston Distillery makes something that is so special; well I just had to experiment with it.  The Deanston Distillery charmed me with their soft flavors and complex aromatics that speak clearly of both the provenance and the fine ingredients.  When I think of Scotch, immediately the flavor that comes to mind is orange, but not just any kind of orange, I think of Clement Shrubb.  But wait, what is a shrubb?  Is it a plant that hides the gas meter outside your home?  No, a shrubb is not a plant.  What it is for alcoholic purposes is a combination of Martinique Rhum, spices and fruits with a spicy, almost chewy, vinegar base.  Many Caribbean cocktails use shrubs as a flavoring agent and they are a part of the culinary culture as well.  Shrubb in a cocktail adds depth and character along with balance to a tropically influenced brew.

 But that isn’t the real reason why I’m interested in mixing Scotch with Clement Shrub.

The real reason is there is a Nor’easter heading this way.  I can feel it where my ex-wife’s horse kicked me in the side of my left knee making it an ideal weather vane.  I can feel the approaching storm up my back to my neck, like that first wave of energy at a Grateful Dead show.   The pressure is lowering.  My ears can feel the pressure now.  The chill goes through me, but then I realize that relief is not far away.  In fact it is just downstairs in the form of a hot cup of dark Irish tea.  

Setting the teakettle is the hardest thing with this cocktail.  And if you know me, my drinks are rather strong.  Some would say that they are healing because I just wrote the book named Apothecary Cocktails.  I don’t see each drink necessarily as a means to an end, but more rationally as a method to cure what ails ye.  Be it a cold or the flu, or even a bleak weather forecast, which I know is on the way.

So you have your teakettle steaming away in the background and a few drams of this brilliant Scotch whisky in front of you.  Why a few drams?  Because it is absolutely necessary to drink a couple drams cool, cellar temperature really, to help relax your nervous system before you actually mix this Hot Toddy.  And while we’re talking about Hot Toddy drinks, this drinks is positively gorgeous in hot weather with Iced Tea. 

Of course I’ll give both recipes.  But what I think is most profound about the combination of Tea with Scotch and Shrubb with a bit of raw honey simple syrup and aromatic bitters from the Bitter Truth, is that you can drink it all day long.

All day long?  Yes!  In fact to gain the greatest benefit for this cocktail, you must administer it one per hour and a half until healing takes place.  How will you know when healing is complete?  Well, let’s just say you won’t have a clue what I’m speaking about after about four of these toddy drinks or Collins glasses full. 

It’s just a perfect storm of ingredients!

Referring back to Robert Louis Stevenson who has filled my imagination with great characters and colorful dreams, I’m drawing out a few names for these inspirational cocktails.

Deronda’s Glen
Proven to cure more than what ails ye.  But no one is talking.  Bad? Good?  I’m not sure.  I know the Whisky is strong.

4 oz. Deanston Virgin Oak Whisky
.50 oz. Clement Shrubb  (made with Rhum Agricole)
.50 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
.25 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
.10 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 oz. (Hot) Irish Breakfast Tea
Several dashes of Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
Raw Honey Simple Syrup (Caledonia Spirits Raw Honey) 2:1 ratio honey to boiling water

Preheat your mug and teapot with boiling water
Pour out when steaming hot
Add the whisky and the bitters with the raw honey to the pot
Add the Clement Shrubb to the pot
Add the juices, then stir.
Check for sweetness
Add more bitters if necessary or more whisky to the mugs if extra healing is needed

The Silverado Circumstance   Reminds me of a time. What time?  Of course I forgot. 

2 oz. Deanston Virgin Oak Whisky
.50 oz. Clement Shrubb
2 oz. Cooled Irish Breakfast Tea
.25 each, orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit juices
.50 Raw Honey simple syrup or to taste
several shakes of Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
.50 oz. Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water in Lemon

To a large tumbler glass filled with a few hand cut ice cubes add:
The whisky
The Shrubb
The Tea
The juices
The Simple Syrup
A splash of Perrier Sparkling Water
A few dashes of the Aromatic Bitters

You can always split this portion into two smaller portions and add a bit more Perrier Sparkling Mineral Water and have two for the price of one!

Sip through the bitters to good health!

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.

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