Burns Night, a holiday celebrating Scottish luminaryRobert Burns, falls on January 25. In his honor, here’s a rundown of the most innovative new drinks featuring Scotch whisky, ranging from tiki-style libations to smoky Negroni variations, all suitable for toasting Scotland’s best-loved bard.
Don’t Sweat the Technique (Blackbird, San Francisco)
It looks austere, but Matt Grippo’s drink gives blended Scotch a tropical twist with a coconut fat wash. He then blends it with smoked maple syrup and lemon oil.
This iconic French restaurant has what may be the most elaborate Scotch drink in the world, made with Great King Street Scotch, lemongrass syrup, smoked Earl Grey tea and orange oil. A bar cart is wheeled out so the cocktail can be prepared tableside—and the whole dining room can see (and smell) as the drink is blowtorch-smoked with much ceremony and drama.
Created by bar manager Kristi Dukoff, this luscious, wintry warmer is made with Famous Grouse Scotch, 10-year-old Madeira, Aperol and black walnut bitters, plus a finishing sprinkle of coarse fleur de sel.
Who says a Scotch cocktail can’t be cool and refreshing? This tall number, created by bartender James Beck, mixes Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch with herbal Becherovka, Licor 43, housemade grenadine, lemon and Angostura bitters, topped up with soda water for a bit of fizz.
This drink, served at Jimmy Yeager’s eponymous bar, is made with the guest’s choice of either Macallan 18- or 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch, along with small amounts of Averna Amaro, Benedictine and orange bitters, “to keep the light floral and blossom notes present,” in the whiskey, says Yeager.
Head to this new Harlem hot spot to try owner/mixologist Brian Washington Palmer’s horchata-like sipper, made with Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Tempus Fugit crème de cacao, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur and oat milk, topped with grated chocolate.
Proof that Scotch isn’t too precious to mix into a Whiskey Sour: Elixir proprietor H. Joseph Ehrmann combines Glenmorangie 10-Year-Old Single Malt with Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, clover honey syrup, lemon juice, rosemary and egg white.
A Mai Tai–inspired Scotch drink? “When I think of Scotch in the winter, for some reason I want it in a tiki-style cocktail,” explains beverage director Bill Brooks. “Maybe it’s because I’m from Florida and sick of all the snow and want a warm beach and some sunshine.” To make it, he mixes Pig’s Nose 5-Year-Old Blended Scotch with velvet falernum, lemon, orange juice and pomegranate grenadine, topping it all with a tropical umbrella.