Three Scotch Cocktails Invented by Great Bartenders
A long time ago, a bunch of stuffy old men started making everyone feel bad for drinking “contaminated” scotch. Their scorn and guilt tripping turned scotch into the solemn, contemplative pursuit we know it as today. That kind of drinking is great if you want to sit in a fire-lit parlor and plot the downfall of your political rivals. It’s not great if you want to have anything resembling a sociable, fun evening with friends.
Thankfully, there are some dissenting distilleries and bartenders out there, and they’re proving you don’t have to harbor disdain for the vulgar masses to drink scotch. In our case, the distillery was The Jura Distillery and the bartenders were Greg Buda of The Dead Rabbit, Shannon Ponche of Leyenda, and Patrick Winston Smith of The Modern.
We got our hands on their recipes so you could approach the world of scotch-based cocktails with courage. Here they are:
Greg Buda | Flash in the Pan
You’ve absolutely heard of The Dead Rabbit. There cannot be any self-respecting cocktail enthusiasts who haven’t. Though, it’s completely plausible you haven’t been in, considering how long their lines can get on even just an average night. For example, it’s not unheard of to wait in line outside their doors for two hours (or more) before you get to even sniff the inside.
This is all a really long way to say the staff knows their stuff, which is a tacit endorsement of Greg Buda’s talents. He’s Director of Education for the Dead Rabbit and it’s his job to make sure everyone on staff can talk about, mix, and drink cocktails at the top of their intelligence.
From Greg’s notes: Featured on The Dead Rabbit’s Fall/Winter 2017 menu, this stirred cocktail serves a healthy dose of herbal and floral notes.
1 dash Bitter Truth Aromatic bitters
0.5 tsp Nux Alpina walnut liqueur
1 tsp Hamilton Pot Still rum
0.5 oz Amaro Nonino
0.75 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina
1.5 oz Jura 10 yr OR Jura 18
Put in a Nick & Nora/coupette
Twist orange oils over top
The reason two different scotches are noted there is because he made the drink two different ways for two different events. The islanders were treated to the subtle smoke and bourbon of Jura 10 for their event, while Glaswegians got the sweet sherry notes for theirs. Both are great, obviously.
Patrick Winston | Dead Ringer
We’ll let Patrick explain his cocktail in his own words to start. If we have anything clever to add, we’ll jump in at the end.
From Patrick’s notes: The drink is called Dead Ringer for two reasons. One, it’s a play on (a “dead ringer” for) a classic scotch cocktail called a Morning Glory Fizz, which is a basic egg white scotch sour with absinthe. Two, I also constructed the cocktail to bring out the flavors already present in Jura 10: orange peel, honey, and sherry. In this sense the cocktail is intended to be a dead ringer for a dram of Jura 10 itself, but with a refreshing twist.
That’s put pretty well already, but since it’s our job to write down our thoughts, let’s do that for a minute.
Patrick pretty much nails what he’s looking for. His cocktail enhances Jura 10’s innate flavors, particularly the sweetness. Where some of the more sensitive among us might get caught up in the smoke of a straight Jura 10, especially if we don’t drink a ton of scotch and aren’t used to looking past it, the Dead Ringer let’s us appreciate the other things the scotch has to offer. Make one for yourself and see if you don’t agree.
1/4 Grand Mariner
1/4 Amontillado sherry
1/2 Honey syrup
1 1/2 Jura 10
Pour in a Coupe glass
Here’s another note from Patrick: I don’t think a garnish is super necessary but if you wanted one I would say an orange peel.
And here’s another note from us, he’s right. We can’t remember if our cocktail had a garnish in it or not, but that’s not the point of his drink anyway.
Shannon Ponche | The Island Old Fashioned
More than anyone else’s cocktail, Shannon’s caused memory problems. To be clear, we mean that as a compliment.
There’s nothing in this that isn’t alcoholic, besides the macadamia nut syrup, and with her controlling things, even the syrup’s not beyond suspicion.
3 dash Bittermans tiki bitters
3 dash Rum Fire
Tsp macadamia nut syrup (Orgeat Works)
2 oz Jura 10
Serve on the rocks
Orange twist garnish
The good times we had following the quick consumption of this cocktail are an endorsement for both its taste and its potency.