Nothing beats a nice whiskey neat.
But, I generally tend to enjoy those when I’m at home. When I’m out and about, I feel like a whisky neat might just be a little too much and a little too easy to overindulge outside the comforts of our home.
So lately I’ve been trying some cocktails. One fun one I’ve discovered is the Moscow Mule, a nice refreshing mix of vodka, ginger beer, and lime.
Here’s another one that has piqued my interest because it involves Scotch whisky, is a fun punch, and a mixture of flavors that sound like they’re really really good. This recipe comes courtesy of a public relations firm that represents Auchentoshan.
Pepperdier Christmas Punch
Photo by Gabi Porter
By Masahiro Urushido, New York Bartender (serves 8 – 10)
- 6 oz. Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky (infused with raisins)
- 8 oz. Scottish Breakfast Tea
- 6 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 4 oz. Dubonnet Rouge Aperitif
- 2 oz. Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur
- 1 oz. Lejay Creme de Cassis
- 3 Tbsp Oleo Saccharum
- Sparkling Wine
- Garnish: Rosemary + Cranberries + Orange Slices + Bay Leaves
Mix all ingredients except sparkling wine in a punch bowl. Garnish with rosemary, cranberries, orange slices and bay leaves. Top with sparkling wine.
If you’re curious who Masahiro Urushido is – he was bartender at NoMad Hotel in New York and was named Chivas Regal’s first ever Chivas Master back in 2014. He can now be found at The Daily and Saxon + Parole, according to his Facebook profile.
If you make it, let me know how it is!
via Bon Appetit
For a while in the summer, I started researching really simple whisky cocktails. When I say simple, I mean like no more than a few steps and five ingredients.
A Manhattan is pretty simple. Bitters, whisky, and vermouth.
Another simple one is called a Whiskey Smash and I found a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine.
Mash the leaves and the lemon along with the tablespoon of simple syrup. Add the bourbon or some other whisky. Transfer to a glass filled halfway with crushed ice.
Boom. Simple. Tasty.
One of the fun things about food, and drink cocktails, is that there are a series of ratios that almost always work.
For example, there’s a ratio of 5:3 when it comes to dough. 5 parts flour to 3 parts liquid (usually water). You add other things to it, such as yeast to make it rise, but the ratio is 5:3. These ratios exist everywhere.
For cocktails, the 2:1:1 ratio. Two parts spirit, one part sweet (simple syrup) and one part sour (lemon). Like bread, you can add other things to it but the base is the same – 2 parts spirit, one part tartness and one part sweetness – you’re good to go.
Have you ever heard of the old rhyme – “one sour, two sweet, three strong, four weak” – that’s a ratio for a punch. Sour and sweet refer to the obvious, strong refers to the alcohol, and four refers to water. Boom – punch ratio.
With the whisky sour, you have the 2:1:1 ratio with some added fun like bitters for aromatics. Garnishes are fun to add a little complexity as well, but don’t go crazy because too many ingredients can muddy the waters.
My friends from Usquaebach sent me this simple recipe (keep an eye out for tasting notes on their whisky soon once I open the bottle!) for a classic Whisky Sour:
- 2 oz. Usquaebach Reserve Premium (or your favorite whisky)
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- Angostura Bitters
Mix everything in a cocktail shaker and shake like crazy! Then strain into a glass, add two dashes of Angostura Bitters, and garnish with lemon peel and a cherry.
There’s nothing like having a batch of simple syrup on hand for cocktails.
Stirring in sugar is … OK. But it never dissolves and you’re left with not enough sugar at the beginning to a sugar bomb at the end.
Fortunately, making simply syrup is simple. Just boil some water and stir in the sugar.
What are the ratios? For cocktails, it’s one part water to one part sugar.
Here are the dead simple instructions, in case you need them:
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring water and sugar to boil.
- Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Let simple syrup cool to room temperature then move to a sealed, clean glass jar.
Sugar is a preservative so it can stay for a while. Eventually, mold will find a way in there so discard if you see any mold. Fortunately simple syrup is completely clear so if you see anything in it, toss and make it again.
Want to get fancy? You can infuse flavors into the simple syrup. After the sugar dissolves and has been removed from the heat, drop in your favorite aromatics (cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, peppers, whatever) and let it sit for thirty minutes and then strain it out. Don’t leave it in there once you store it in the fridge.
Enjoy your simple syrup!
Have you ever tried milk in your Scotch?
If it sounds absolutely crazy to you, you’re not alone. It sounds insane to me.
Of all the things to mix with Scotch, one of the last things I’d think of would be milk. (the first thing would be… nothing, keep it neat please)
That said… milk does a body good. Scotch does a body good. The two together must be good… right? Right? 🙂
So imagine my surprise when someone suggested mixing scotch with milk in our Facebook group. Rather than mix it at random, which sounds it would’ve been a HUGE mistake for me but a lot of fun for you to read about :), I found this recipe.
- 2 oz. Scotch
- 6 oz. Milk
- 1 tsp. Powdered Sugar (or a drop or so of simple syrup)
- Shake with ice, strain and garnish with nutmeg
I never made it though, I chickened out because the recipe’s author later updated his post to say he was nauseous afterwards.
Milk and booze are not new, we are all probably familiar with White Russians (vodka, Kahlua, and heavy cream), and there are milk punch recipes that are basically the above except replace Scotch with another liquor, like rum.
So, anyone out there brave enough to try it?