At some point last year, at a time that seems so very far from where we are currently, I made a semi-conscious decision to reign in a bit my drink writing ramblings by focusing the scope of my mixology efforts. As I described at the time, this was mainly for structural reasons (absent boundaries, I have a tendency, for want of trying everything and anything that sounds interesting, to roam and roam and roam across the landscape with no discernible path); this “reigning in” would still have us knee deep in all things drink related but more attention would be given to whiskies of all types, colors, shapes and sizes.
Recent mixology efforts have demonstrated to me how this focused approach on something specific can yield fruit in a broader sense; by focusing a bit I have discovered a certain degree of freedom at exploring all manner of ingredients in much greater depth and then applying them to my whiskey-based endeavors. When our little adventure rounded the corner on its one year anniversary it became clear to theSpeakista that he was not doing enough to sample spirits as a means of honing (or at least attempting to hone) his senses of taste and smell. One of Camper’s recent posts and the ensuing comments got me to thinking more, or at least draw my thoughts back to, my own efforts at spirit reviews. When I “review” a spirit it is one that has been purchased with hard earned money and when I write about a particular purchase it is because I view that product as being some how unique or worth mentioning to my readers for their own use (and not, because they do not, arrive in the mail).
So why the above diatribe? Simple enough question with an equally simple answer. – my creativity and my “reviews” I have discovered are linked and in a very curious and fun sort of way. When I look at a product in a “review context” I no longer just think of it as a static exercise of tasting and reporting but my learning and experimentation sides kick-in; I’m drawn to learn more about the spirit, its history, composition and more importantly at learning, or at least seeing if I can learn, how to do something new with it.
As a means of re-igniting our efforts on reviews we will soon follow up our most recent review with a new series highlighting several different spirits. I’m using this post, in advance of these to highlight a drink created by yours truly (I know … you can’t believe it either). While the old song says … “…what the world, needs now, is love sweet love; it’s the only thing, that there’s just to little of …” for me, when thinking of spirits and mixology, these lyrics are better used by replacing “love” with “scotch.” The world is all too lacking in drink recipes that utilize my beloved “water of life.” The typical refrain is that the unique flavor profile of scotch makes it hard to pair with other ingredients. I disagree. Scotch, when paired with the right ingredients works beautifully (case in point; case in point; case in point and case in point).
The below recipe started with my tinkering a bit with the Rob Roy — a little of this, a touch of that and out popped this creation. As with most riffs, subtle changes yield a different drinking experience — layers of citrus combine with a lush amaro and fantastic vermouth to enhance the character of the whiskey. Why the name? Originally the name selected was far less creative but as I’m using this drink to show case the fantastic Tuthilltown single malt whiskey (both herein and in a review shortly) I thought the new one to be a better fit.
Edinburgh on the Hudson
Recipe created by theSpeakista
• 2 oz single malt scotch whisky (Tuthilltown’s Hudson Single Malt Whiskey)
• 3/4 oz Dolin Rouge vermouth
• 1/4 oz Meletti amaro
• 2 dashes grapefruit bitters
• 1 dash orange bitters
Garnish: orange twist
Glass: cocktail coupe
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon and a julep strainer
Assembly: Combine all of the ingredients in the mixing glass with plenty of cracked and non-cracked ice and stir for at least 30 seconds until well chilled. Strain the mixture into the serving glass.
Verdict: The aroma is sweet on the nose with a nice blend of citrus and floral notes. On the tongue, the drink is initially sweet but not cloyingly so; the whiskey really stands forth as the lead actor in this mixture binding its grain and wood notes together with one-two punch of botanicals and floral flavors from the vermouth and amaro. I am a huge fan of the Meletti, its twinge of ginger and anise flavors compliment the whiskey perfectly. As always we end the experience on a high note with lingering bitterness on the after palate and definite sense of purpose for both citrus flavors.
Not too bad an effort if I do say so myself.
1. Scotch … are you a fan? What do you think of the above drink recipe?
2. When you read a spirit review, what are you looking to get out of said review?