2 1/2 oz Ardbeg Scotch
1/4 oz Water
2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Tiki Bitters
1 dash Mole Bitters
Muddle the sugar cube, bitters, and water until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add Scotch and ice, stir, and strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with Benedictine. Twist an orange peel over the drink and discard the peel.
Last night I went solo to Drink and I found a seat at the center bar. When Sam Treadway made his way over to take my order, I asked what new drinks he had been making. He replied that he was pretty excited by a drink he made during a recent garnish challenge (apparently a regular occurrence where a few patrons show up with a garnish such as circus peanuts and see what the maestros at Drink can do) where the goal was to match a drink to beef jerky. Luckily for me he was all out of jerky, so I went with this Scotch drink sans garnish.
The cocktail was a take on the traditional Sazerac where the Peychaud's were complemented by a pair of the Bittermen's bitters and the Herbsaint was replaced by Benedictine. Those two changes were not as great as the swapping of the traditional Cognac or rye for Scotch. And not just any Scotch, but a bold one: Ardbeg. The drink itself started with a wondrous orange oils on the nose which led into the smoke flavors at the beginning of the sip. The Scotch somewhat overwhelmed the bitters and Benedictine, but they were indeed there in the swallow. And they were there with just enough force to make the drink complex enough to keep me captivated until my glass was drained.
In terms of the Sazeracs I have had, which include rye, Bourbon, Cognac, and gin, the Scotch Sazerac was one of the bigger departures due to the dominance of the base spirit. However, it was just as balanced and easy to drink as its more standard siblings. I could see how the smokiness of this drink would stand up rather well to some beef or other jerky with all of its smoke and spice; however, if you would like that experience at Drink, just remember to BYOJ.