Thursday, October 24, 2019

up in smoke

2 oz Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/4 oz Becherovka
2 dash House "Smoke & Oak Bitters" (*)

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass that had been smoked (torched cedar wood with the glass put over it), and add a Phoenix (or other large) ice cube.
(*) A combination of 18-21 Havana & Hyde Bitters, house barrel-aged Angostura Bitters, and Owl & Whale Sea Smoke Bitters).

Two Thursdays ago, I was invited to a Teeling Irish Whiskey event at Backbar to hear distiller Alex Chasko speak about the rebirth of distillation in Dublin. Before the talk began, the Backbar bartenders were executing a small menu of Teeling Whiskey drinks, and it was recommended that I start with the Up in Smoke. Bar owner Sam Treadway explained not only the house bitters, but the reason why the menu read cinnamon syrup instead of Becherovka; they had originally planned this drink with the single malt which worked better with that syrup, but they were not allotted bottles to make cocktails and thus switched to the Czech liqueur. The phoenix ice cube as the centerpiece of the drink represents the Teeling crest on the bottle which represents how the Teeling family's whiskey legacy died out with the decline of distillation in Ireland and was recently reborn.
The Up in Smoke lived up to its name with a wood smoke aroma that wafted over soft whiskey notes. Next, a malty sip rose to a whiskey and herbal-flavored swallow and a cinnamon finish. While the drink subtitle on the menu was "A modern take on the classic Irish whiskey drink The Tipperary," the Up in Smoke drank more like a lightly herbal Old Fashioned.

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