Wednesday, July 25, 2012

bobby burns (variation)

2 oz Compass Box King Street Blended Scotch
1 oz Vergano Americano
1 barspoon Chestnut Flower Honey

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

The other drink that Stephen Shellenberger wanted to make me was his Bobby Burns variation that he got some press for back in 2008 when he was at Dante. The Boston Globe wrote, "It turns out that Shellenberger's version is no proper Bobby Burns, but its impropriety is an apt tribute to the roguish poet who immortalized his own scandalous romances and spoke out against the status quo." While he no longer uses housemade vermouth and opts for a chinato instead, he still prefers single varietal honeys that he finds at Formaggio's Kitchen.  The honey made a great substitute in place of some Bobby Burn's Drambuie (other versions use Bénédictine instead).
The honey certainly came through in the aroma where it paired with the Scotch's smoke and in the sip where it mingled with the chinato's grape and Scotch's malt notes. While the smoky Scotch began the swallow, it ended with a return of the honey in a lingering honey, floral, and grape finish.
While drinking Stephen's Bobby Burn's rendering, I thought of another Scotch variation I had a few weeks ago at Trina's Starlite Lounge. During a Monday industry brunch, one of the sponsors was Cutty Sark, and bartender Beau Sturm made up a round of his Rob Roy variation for the bar.
Rob Roy (variation)
• 2 oz Cutty Sark Blended Scotch
• 1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
• 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
• 1 dash House Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.
Rather good although Cutty Sark is a more gentle and less smokey blended Scotch than Compass Box's King Street. Perhaps its mildness is what allowed the dry vermouth and other ingredients to shine out so well. As I enjoyed the drink, I could not help but think that Andrea's dad was smiling down on me for drinking Cutty Sark; however, he would have preferred just the Scotch on the rocks instead.

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