Rum and orgeat drink … check. Brandy and orgeat drink, a classic … check? A Scotch, Irish whiskey and orgeat drink… say what? Well yes it actually exists and that is what we have up next and it comes by way of the Cameron’s Kick cocktail. An intriguing (some might say, not intriguing but weird sounding) blend of ingredients with two whiskies, lemon and orgeat. As a huge Scotch fan I was looking forward to making this drink as my beloved water of life is an often neglected soul in cocktail mixology.
As always, theSpeakista is not reinventing the wheel here in that plenty of pros have already tread where I hope to follow (here, here and here for starters). As always Paul is centered on the background of this drink via the great Dave Wondrich (more to follow on Dave as I recently took a fantastic class with him at the Astor Center in NYC and will provide a report) and provides a great overview to the drink. As an avid fan of SLOSHED, I was curious to see what Marleigh thought of the drink (her photos are a work of art) and similar to Paul echoed the view that on paper it seemed a bit well, off … shouldn’t work … orgeat, Irish whiskey and Scotch of all things. According to these two learned imbibers this drink seems to not only work but work quite nicely. Given Paul, Marleigh and Rick all thought highly of this drink, and I wanted to get a scotch-based drink in the mix, this seemed like a great candidate.
Note: despite the 20-20 hindsight afforded me from Paul, Marleigh and Rick of how well this drink works I am always pre-disposed to give Scotch-based drinks the benefit of the doubt much like I assume that any Pac-10 team (well, one in particular) stands a reasonable chance against a Big-10 football team.
For my test, I opted for Rick’s version largely based on the use of an Islay whiskey — if it’s true that I am huge Scotch fan (see above … I AM!) then it is more then fair to say that I am a downright Islay whiskey nut job and using Islay whiskies more frequently in drinks is a quest.
Cameron’s Kick Cocktail
Recipe adapted from Kaiser Penguin, the Cameron’s Kick cocktail (itself adapted from the Savoy Cocktail book)
• 1 oz Scotch whiskey (Laphroaig 10 year)
• 1 oz Irish whiskey (Bushmills Original)
• 1/2 oz orgeat (Trader Tiki brand)
• 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Garnish: orange twist
Glass: champagne coupe
Tools: mixing glass and tin (shaker), Hawthorn strainer and fine mesh tea strainer and a small kitchen knife for carving the garnish
Assembly: Combine all ingredients in the shaker, add ice and shake well for at least 20 seconds until well chilled. Double strain into the serving glass and garnish.
The verdict: Oh my … I like this! First impressions, from my first sip … refreshing … nice … blended. The color is a nice pale yellow or light gold color. Shaking the drink imparts a nice thin white foam head on the top of the drink that yields additional color profile to the drink. The aroma is a fairly faint peaty-ness followed quickly by soft citrus notes. The taste is nice and blended and despite the initial thought that my beloved Laphroaig would overpower the mix it’s actually quite the opposite. Sure the peat flavor is present and present upfront but it yields to a nice rounded citrus/sweet flavor. The almond flavor from the orgeat is masked, likely behind the Scotch and Irish whiskey one-two punch but its sweetness only serves to mellow the two counter whiskies. This is a nice turn at a Scotch-based drink and I am happy I took the bait. Marleigh, Paul and Rick were all three correct (as I had no doubt …), this drink works – a good example of how the ingredient in focus, the orgeat, is highlighting and working with the others to create a unified drink.
theSpeakista’s Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Next victim … Applejack and rum and the Puerto Apple cocktail.