Sunday, May 2, 2010

the scottish play

1 3/4 oz Laphroaig 10 Year Old Scotch
1 1/4 oz Cynar
1 oz Aperol
1/8 oz Drambuie

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist an orange peel over the top and discard.

For my nightcap at Russell House, I was intrigued by the Scottish Play. Bartender Aaron Butler described how it started as a variation of a Negroni, and once he realized that Campari proved to be an obstacle in developing the drink, he swapped it out and the drink morphed into the Scottish Play. Taking from the fact that Aaron mentioned that Russell House has become one of Laphroaig's biggest accounts in the area, I gather that the Scottish Play has become an instant hit. And hopefully with that, Cynar will become the new Fernet.
The Scottish Play ended up a rich mahogany color that matched the bar upstairs (previously I was at the downstairs bar). Behind the Scottish Play in the photo was one of Russell House's casks which contained Allagash Black, a darker Belgian-style beer that is one of that brewery's finest offerings I have tasted. The Scottish Play was an intriguing interplay between the robust Laphroaig Scotch and the quirky and bitter Cynar liqueur; the Aperol and Drambiue played minor roles in the balance and added a little extra sweetness and complexity. The nose was swimming with herbal Cynar and smokey, malty Scotch aromas. And the sip was not too different with the funky bitter flavor of the Cynar being balanced by the smokey whisky. The combination never faltered even as the drink warmed up, and the Scottish Play would probably make for just as good of a post-prandial digestif as it did a nightcap. Since the Scottish Play is a reference to Shakespeare's Macbeth, I might need to try another Scottish Play to fully cogitate the symbolism like how we (and Aaron) saw Punchdrunk's production of Sleep No More multiple times.


Anonymous said...

Tried this at the RHT the other night — very happy to come across the recipe now, it was delicious and is going to force me to pick up my own bottle of Laphroaig. Thanks for sharing!

Daniel said...

It should say 1 ounce Aperol, not 1/8th.

frederic said...

Thank you Daniel! I just confirmed the recipe with Aaron, and you are correct! Happy New Year!

Tevildo said...

I'm impressed. Scotch cocktails are almost universally disappointing, but this is actually quite pleasant. Tastes just like the love-child of a Negroni and a Rusty Nail. It definitely falls within the realm of "know your audience" drinks, of course.

frederic said...

Scotch and Cynar are a magic combination. Scotch also pairs well with Averna and rather well with Amaro Abano. Scotch cocktails have come along way, although they are still a mixed bag.