Thursday, March 12, 2009

scotch sazerac

2 1/2 oz Ardbeg Scotch
1/4 oz Water
Sugar Cube
2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
1 dash Tiki Bitters
1 dash Mole Bitters
Benedictine (Rinse)

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 Bittermens' 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.


Anonymous said...

I can supply photographic evidence of the first Garnish Challenge:

My friend who posts as "Leadlike" supplied both the circus peanut and the glorious moustache.

frederic said...

I had seen the photos of that on facebook. I traced them back trying to figure out who wore heavy metal style bracers to sweatband Sunday (I think you tagged one of the bartenders who is a mutual friend).

You should be proud of how your various antics have been woven into the tapestry of Drink!

Anonymous said...

Yeah—the Elvis was Sam's doing.

Our antics have got nothing on your homemade bitters, which seem to have found a second home at Drink. (Have you any plans to post a recipe for Smoking Ban Bitters?)

frederic said...

I probably should. I didn't post them since some local bitters-makers made me paranoid of suggesting to the world that they tobacco infusions can be done since drinking them straight in bulk would be bad (not to mention just nasty) i.e.: tobacco whiskey. The math tells me that my bitters fall in a very safe range for nicotine content especially if people use them dashwise and not downing double or triple shots of the stuff. And that I won't be killing or endangering people like they suggested (or myself in making them).

Oh well, enough about that drama.

And my bitters are at a few other places in town including ES and Rendezvous (Scott's Essence of Winter Night got written up and got bad-ass points for saying that he uses Boker's relative to the other cocktails featured there).