2 oz Scotch (Caol Ila 12 Year) 1/2 oz Madeira (Blandy's 5 Year) 1/2 oz Aperol 1 tsp Grand Marnier 3 drop Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist and raisins.
On Monday night, I was flipping through some older copies of Imbibe magazine and spotted the Robin Wood from the January/February 2009 issue. The drink intrigued me due to its use of Madeira which rarely finds its way into cocktails (our blog has 3 other examples where this fortified wine was paired up with Armagnac, rye, or tequila with decent success). The Robin Wood was created by Humberto Marques of Oloroso in Edinburgh and perhaps he brought out the Madeira in honor of his Portuguese heritage. The article though provided the explanation of Humberto seeking a spirit to complement the flavor of a malt whiskey similar to the magic pairing in a Manhattan, and he found Madeira to be the answer. The Madeira worked well with the liqueurs to temper the intensity of the Scotch and delay the onset of the smokiness on the swallow. The sharper notes in the Madeira complemented the ones in the single malt well, and the addition of orange notes helped to round out the flavor profile quite nicely.
The euphemisms are getting a bit stale, suffice to say: four people in Boston -- two of whom are much more prolific writers than the other two (including the originator of this blog, who has no excuse apart from laziness) -- who drink and tell.