Archives for category: Scottish Whiskey

Things that I do four times a year:  update the cocktail menu, wash the dogs, and reinstall Windows.  So goodbye light, fruity, rum-soaked summer.  Hello bourbon and rain.  Time for drinks that go well with the smell of the furnace being lit for the first time this season.

I hope someday to make it to The Varnish in LA.  Eric Alperin seems to be doing some magic there, so my ears perked up when he shared a recipe on the Dinner Party Download a while back.  I wrote it down, then forgot about it.  It popped up a few weeks ago when I was editing the recipe database.  Finally got around to making it.

Here’s my new favorite rye cocktail.


1 oz Old Overholt Rye
1 oz cognac (I used Chalfonte)
.5 oz amaretto
.5 oz dry vermouth (I used Dolin dry)
float of Islay whiskey (I used Ardbeg – about three dashes)

Combine everything but the whiskey (or whisky, if you will) in the shaker.  Ice and stir.  Strain into a rocks glass with no ice.  Turn the barspoon upside down over the drink and pour the whiskey on top.  Garnish with an orange wedge and a couple of brandied cherries on a pick.  Think about visiting LA for a conference later this month.  Remember living in LA.  Go back to drinking.

The brandied cherries seem pretty important here.  That tiny bit of boozy juicy goodness that seeps into the drink really brings everything together.

Stock up the liquor cabinet.  More fall cocktail menu selections to come.


I got a crazy idea while at Needle and Thread a few weeks ago.  What would a Blood and Sand taste like if you crossed it with some potting soil and a used ashtray?  Depending on how you swing, it’s either the worst idea since Olestra (look it up, young ‘uns), or it’s fecking brilliant. 

I’m going with fecking brilliant.  For lack of a better way to describe it, let’s call it…

Blood and Sand and Squalor
.75 oz Ardbeg whiskey (Caol Isla or Laphroaig works fine, too)
.75 oz Dolin sweet vermouth
.75 oz Cherry Heering

.75 oz orange juice

Garnish with a brandied cherry and man up.

I got Andras at the Bottleneck Lounge to make me one of these last night in honor of the final Tom Waits Cocktail Club night.  I think Tom would dig it, if he still indulged.  Tastes like a rough night out involving cigars, whiskey, a dancing midget, passing out in a graveyard, and waking up at Norm’s drinking orange juice at 6 am.

In a good way.