Thursday, June 19, 2014

Making cocktail with Speyside Single Malt Scotch whisky

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

I know what you are going to say when I recommend making a cocktail that includes absolutely brilliant Speyside Single Malt Scotch whisky.  There will be rebellions, men will march against their neighbors and your supply of whisky at the pub may be cut off.  

When you make this cocktail you may want to keep the recipe to yourself.

I’ve learned much recently about Scotch whisky.  Maybe much of it has to do with my second book being published in October from Fair Winds Press, named Whiskey Cocktails.  Working with so many gorgeous bottles of whiskey stimulated my thirst for this most evocative liquor. 

Please don’t get upset with me when I say that cocktails can include single malt Scotch whisky.  My recipe is so easy to make, using ingredients that has in their larder, waiting for the eager click of your mouse.

I get really excited when I think about Scotch in a cocktail and this brand named Speyburn does everything correctly.  Speyburn is lush, easy to drink and finds itself very mixable.  Maybe that’s because of the used Bourbon casks?  I would think so.

The vanilla notes are quite pronounced and they complement other ingredients. Because whisky is such a pleasurable drink, I couldn’t resist mixing it with both honey simple syrup (1:1 boiling water to raw honey- then cool) and something unique from America’s Oldest Distillery, Laird’s Bottled in Bond, 100 Proof- Apple Brandy.  A few drops of Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters and a touch of aged Balsamic Vinegar add a citrus laced, savory finish. 

Balsamic vinegar is the secret ingredient in this drink that includes flavors from both sides of the pond and a visit to Italy at the same time.  It is not a shaken drink- those armies will start rattling their swords if you even think about shaking a drink with Scotch and Apple Brandy.   This drink is mixed in a beaker.  Repeat after me.  Do not shake this drink.  Do NOT shake this drink.

The other secret ingredient is a dose of grilled pineapple juice for an east meets west approach to thesedisparate ingredients. Just a touch brings out the sweetness in the Lairds and also accentuates the light smokiness to the Scotch.  The inner sweetness vs. the char of the pineapple juice makes for intrigue and confusion.  I like both things because anything less is just too predictable.  Too easy to understand and decipher my inner meaning to cocktailian pleasures.  Like day drinking, you just have to do it for a few years (or decades) to understand how beguiling a Ramos Gin Fizz can be at lunch.  Or how a Milk Punch at breakfast is better than Tennessee Sipping Whiskey on your cereal.   Take it from me.  I’m a professional.  Hand me my bag please.  Inside you’ll find an array of bitters from Bitter Truth in Germany.  Just like I utilize my photography with a German Leica, I turn to Bitter Truth for that precision of flavors.  Lemon Bitters add a jolt of citrus along with the savory qualities of the medicinal herbs and spices.  How did I know this?  I figured out early in my writing career that taste in a well balanced cocktail is very simple, just like being a saucier- something I did before becoming a banker. 

It’s remarkable how Speyburn Highlands Scotch whisky combines with the grilled pineapple juice; honey simple syrup, Laird’s Bottled in Bond Apple Brandy and a quick injection of Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters. 

What should I call this drink of great sophistication? 

What Shall I say of Clarisse?

Ingredients for two persons or one really thirsty person
2 oz. Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whisky
2 oz. Laird’s Bottled in Bond Apple Brandy (100 Proof)
2 oz. Grilled Pineapple Juice (grill pineapple spears over fire & juice)
½ oz. Balsamic Vinegar
½ oz. Raw Honey Simple Syrup (1:1 ratio, boiling water to raw honey-cool)
2-3 dashes Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters

Chilled Coupes – ice and water, then spill out

Fill Beaker with ice to ¾

Add all the ingredients and stir about fifty times
Strain with a Hawthorne Strainer into two pre-chilled coupes
Dot with the lemon bitters to finish

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys. His first book, Apothecary Cocktails has been nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail! 

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