To any cocktail aficionado, ice is key. Any bartender would tell you that dilution is one of the most important parts of cocktail making. But is it?
As the recent mixology renaissance goes forward, it’s hard to think of a cocktail concept that hasn’t already been explored, but now we may be facing a new trend: iceless room-temperature cocktails. Called the scaffa, this style of cocktail is an homage to a time when ice wasn’t readily available in the United States and drinks were served without dilution of any kind. These days, scaffas are appreciated for the nuanced tastes and aromas that get lost after chilling.
You can slowly sip them while writing that Great American Novel, copping tips from cooking videos or binging on Netflix—you never have to worry about scaffas getting watery. So if you love drinking your spirits neat, you’ll love this trend, and these are five cocktails to prove it.
Three ingredients and you’re done. What could be better than that? Building this cocktail right in your glass, combine some nice brandy and chestnut liqueur and stir. Oh, and that last ingredient? It’s garnish. Top off your cocktail with an orange peel and drink up. Get the recipe for the Chestnut Scaffa.
There isn’t a better time for a room-temperature cocktail than when you’re on the go. Stop filling your flask with neat spirits and experiment with a cocktail. This take on the Rob Roy is perfect for when you forgot your ice on that camping trip or at that party that only has nonalcoholic punch. And don’t worry, if you’re too much of the traditionalist, you can add ice to this one. Get the recipe for the Rob Roy in a Flask.
Just like when drinking spirits neat, an iceless cocktail may benefit from some drops of water. The Impropah Scaffa bucks the undiluted tradition by adding some water to a mix of cognac, pear liqueur and other tasty ingredients. Get the recipe for the Impropah Scaffa.
We can all join hands for this one. With just three ingredients, this mezcal drink works great in a glass or in a flask. Smoky bitters and a touch of sweetness give this cocktail some well-rounded flavor. Sign me up. Get the recipe for the Kumbaya.
One of the important elements of a room-temperature cocktail is to make sure you’re using awesome ingredients. The Hotel Room Temperature embodies just that. Aged rum, high-quality sweet vermouth, orange curaçao and bitters are all you need for a nightcap that’ll make you think you’re spending the night in the tropics. Get the recipe for the Hotel Room Temperature.