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For some Scotch-lovers, mixing the spirit in a cocktail is sacrilege—but there are a few things to say about that out-dated notion.
First off, no, you don’t have to use your expensive single malt in the drink. Frankly, blended Scotches tend to have an all-purpose flavor and are easier to find at lower price points.
Second, Scotch lends a certain quality to a drink that other whiskies don’t have. The scotch might be heavily peated and smoky or silky smooth with no rough edges: Either way, you might be surprised at how well the whisky resists being overpowered by mixers.
Last, plenty of classic drinks are made with Scotch. Ever try a Rob Roy? Or a Blood and Sand? While it’s important not to drown the Scotch in mixers, a fresh fruit juice or a complementary liqueur can bring out flavors in the whisky you may not have noticed on its own.
Try these five Scotch cocktails and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.
This simple three-ingredient recipe is a take on the much-adored Boulevardier—which itself is a twist on the classic Italian aperitif, the Negroni. Instead of using Campari, it calls for fellow Italian liqueur Cynar, which is made from artichokes (sounds weird, yes, but stay with us). And instead of rye whiskey or gin, it calls for single malt whiskey. It’s a tried-and-true formula and makes a balanced cocktail you’ll crave.
While we’re not sure exactly where the name of this four-part cocktail originated, we do know that it tastes like neither blood nor sand. Combining equal parts orange juice, sweet vermouth, Cherry Heering and Scotch, it’s not too sweet or too fruity.
This cocktail comes from the team of expert mixologists at New York speakeasy Death & Co. The Scotch provides a sturdy base for a reverence-inspiring combination of sherry, simple syrup, Grand Marnier and dry vermouth. Balanced, refreshing—with the right amount of punch.
Ever thought gin and Scotch could work together? Well, all you have to do to get this smoky Martini twist is replace the vermouth with Scotch. You get something altogether different from the drink’s namesake and, depending on what Scotch you use, the cocktail can take on a variety of flavor profiles.
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Think you know the booze?
Let’s start with some basics.