Want to start a bar fight? Just ask your fellow patrons how you should drink single malt. Once and for all, the answer, according to whisky expert and Liquor.com contributor Charles MacLean, is simple: any way you like. (You can read his full opinion here.) And one of the ways we like to drink the rich spirit is in cocktails.
No need to get your kilt in a bunch. People have been making mixed drinks with Scotch for a long time. Traditionally, bartenders used blended whisky for cocktails, since that was what was available. But there’s no reason why you can’t mix up a Blood and Sand (The Glenrothes Select Reserve, sweet vermouth, Cherry Heering, orange juice) or a Rob Roy (Macallan Fine Oak 10-Year-Old, sweet vermouth, bitters) with a fine Highland malt.
There are also plenty of great modern concoctions that make use of the delicious Scottish alcohol. The Myra Breckinridge, which was created by talented bartender Phil Ward and served at New York bar Death and Company, mixes the smoky and peaty Laphroaig with lemon juice, sugar cane syrup and a couple dashes of absinthe.
At Bar Seven Five in the Andaz Wall Street New York Hotel, single malt is even being used as a drink accent. The secret to the establishment’s Perfect Pearl Manhattan (pictured above) is that the inside of the glass is first rinsed with Lagavulin. The thin coating of Scotch gives the bourbon-and-vermouth mixture added depth and complexity. Really, what more could a whisky drinker want?
Contributed by Phil Ward
Add all the ingredients to a pilsner glass filled with crushed ice. Swizzle, and garnish with a mint sprig. If you don’t have sugar cane syrup, you can substitute rich simple syrup (two parts sugar, one part water).
Perfect Pearl Manhattan
Contributed by Bar Seven Five at Andaz Wall Street
- Lagavulin 16-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- 2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
- 1 oz Dolin Rouge Vermouth
- .5 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
- 3 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6
- Glass: Cocktail
Rinse a cocktail glass with the Scotch and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into the prepared glass.