Friday, November 14, 2008

mamie taylor

2 oz. blended scotch (Famous Grouse was used)
1/2 oz. lime juice

Stir in a collins glass with ice (4 KD cubes, if you have 'em). Top with ginger beer (about 3 oz.). If feeling artistic, garnish with a lime curlie-Q.

Last Saturday (11/8) evening, Fred and I went for dinner and drinks in Central Square Cambridge. We arrived at Rendezvous to find a sizable group of people packed into the lounge area. Miraculously, our two favorite seats at the bar opened up and we snatched them after ascertaining that the group preferred to stand and socialize. Since it was so incredibly crowded, I opted to order from the cocktail menu. My second drink was one I had read about in's Barcode column - the Mamie Taylor. I'm a latecomer to the whole scotch experience - blame my father, whose taste for cheap scotch really turned me off the spirit. My brother has better taste, and after giving me a sample of The Glenlivet 12-year a couple of winters ago, I decided that not all scotch tastes like diesel fuel. And this drink is both sweet, sour, and a touch smokey - not so much as to overwhelm. Scott stated that my drink choice was very healthy, and perhaps it was partially responsible for helping me ward off the cold that seems to have circulated among my friends. Santé, indeed.

A couple of nights later, Fred and I met up at Drink. John asked me what I was in the mood for, and I wanted something made with ginger beer. I sampled the drink - and said it was interesting, why, what is it. John's brow furrowed at that comment, and he said it was a Mamie Taylor. John makes his version with White Horse - a blended scotch dominated by Lagavulin. The peatiness of this Islay scotch rather overwhelmed the sweet/tart flavor of the ginger beer, and the result I liked a bit less than Scott's version. I wish I had asked for a small glass of John's ginger beer - a mixture of clove, ginger, allspice, and white pepper sweetened with demerara sugar. I have sampled Rendezvous' straight ginger beer, and it is magical, perfectly sweet and gingery. It's made in a "messy, multi-step, multi-day process" that truly must be a labor of love (or something).

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