Thursday, April 1, 2010

Essential Liquor #4

#4) A single malt scotch- Everyone is going to have a favorite here. Smokiness, sweetness, and varying amounts of peat drive the myriad of favors of single malt scotch. My favorites tend to be sweeter, Dalwhinnie and The Glenrothes being among them, by virtue of my predilection of Rusty Nails. The one I would recommend here is The Glenlivet 12 year. It is a solid scotch for most scotch drinkers and, for $35, it is cheap enough to mix.

A martini-esque use of single malt scotch can be found in the Affinity. I thought that this recipe would be good considering the different tastes in scotch. For more smokiness or peat, dial back the amount of sweet vermouth to ½ a part while increasing the scotch by ½ a part.

1 measure of scotch
1 measure of dry vermouth
1 measure of sweet vermouth
3-6 drops of Angostura bitters


  1. Do you recommend shaking this one or stirring it, Holly? I get to crack a new bottle of sweet vermouth which I've had so long I can't recall when I purchased it :) Not too much sweet vermouth used in this camp! 'Tis the bane of my existence

  2. For an Affinity Sweet- use ½ measure of dry vermouth and 1½ measure of sweet vermouth. What’s pictured is an Affinity Sweet made from Glenrothes 10 year. Stir all the Affinities to keep their silkiness.

  3. For the Affinity Sweet- try Glenrothes 15 year; Glengoyne 10 year; or Balvenie 12 year.

    For the Affinity dry- experience Laphroaig 10 year (lots of smoke); Caol Ila 14 year (lots of earthiness, cigar time!); or Talisker 10 year (lots of peat and smoke)

  4. What's the garnish used? cherry?

  5. Depends on if it is dry/sweet/perfect. 'Perfect' means equal parts dry and sweet vermouths. For all perfects/dry cocktails, a lemon twist is customary. For all sweets like the one pictured, a cherry is customary. For the Laphroaig/Talisker ones, I'd go olive like I do for dry Rob Roys. Or maybe a pearl onion would be awesome.

  6. We have another winner! I chose an Affinity perfect for this try. Scotch used was Glenmorangie Portwood Finish which has a beautiful chocolate note and light smoke. Chocolate and sweet vermouth go well together. It may be just a hair sweet for my tastes, which makes it go down all the quicker.

  7. Yeah, I like Glenmorangie for dry Rob Roys. Essentially, the Affinity is a Rob Roy with ratcheted up vermouth levels. And, of course, a Rob Roy is the classic Manhattan made with scotch instead of whiskey.

  8. Don't tell that to the Vintage in MadTown. Their Rob Roy was a Rusty Nail... and the bartender claimed they are the same drinks.