1 1/2 oz Blended Scotch (Famous Grouse)
1 oz Ruby Port (Taylor Fladgate)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Egg White (1/2 Egg White)
1/4 oz Ginger Syrup (Ginger People)
Shake once without ice and once with. Strain into a Collins glass (highball glass) filled with ice cubes and 1 oz of spicy ginger ale (Natural Brew Outrageous Ginger Ale). Garnish with a lemon twist and a Maraschino cherry (Luxardo).
Last Tuesday, I finally made the Strange Acquaintance from the most recent issue of Imbibe magazine (March/April 2011). The recipe calls for Blenheim Spicy Ginger Ale which I could not find, but I was able to locate Natural Brew's Outrageous Ginger Ale (at Harvest Co-op in Central Square) that sounded like it would make a fair substitution. Natural Brew's product has ginger juice in it in addition to ginger extract (most ginger ale is extract only a/k/a "natural flavors") and thus falls somewhere between regular ginger ale and ginger beer. The drink was created by bartender Wesley Wolf from the Lantern Restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC. While Wesley points to the Japanese Fizz that appears in Dale Degroff's books as his drink inspiration, I was reminded of the classic Chicago and Elk's Own Cocktail. Regardless of which of the three recipes one considers, the addition of ginger syrup and ginger ale takes this drink in a different direction. Once mixed, the Strange Acquaintance began with a lemon, port, and ginger aroma. On the tongue, lemon and port flavors on the sip preceded the ginger and Scotch notes on the swallow. Overall, the Strange Acquaintance could do no wrong.