Category Archives: Scotch



Vintage Cocktails #74: The Vowel Cocktail

It’s been a while since I have mixed up a cocktail from Vintage Spirits, partly due to the fact that there are only a few left and partly because I am missing some ingredients. Luckily for me, one of my favorite bartenders in town happened to pick up some Kümmel on his last liquor excursion.

Called for in just a few drinks, this caraway flavored liqueur works well in this cocktail, blending in with the Scotch and Vermouth. It doesn’t stand out, but instead provides a subtle addition to the drink. Be sure to use a less peaty/smoky scotch in this one. Cheers!

The Vowel Cocktail
1oz Scotch Whisky
1oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2oz Orange Juice
1/2oz Kümmel
Dash Angostura Bitters

Vintage Cocktails #44: The Modernista

Scotch is infamous for its difficulty in being used as a base for cocktails. I’m not really sure what it is that makes it so hard to get along with, but it sure is. That being said, occasionally a blend of just the right ingredients paired with scotch can give birth to an amazing drink. This can be said for the Modernista cocktail, which I can honestly say is the best scotch cocktail I have ever had. Based upon the Modern Maid cocktail, Ted Haigh adjusts some proportions and adds some Swedish Punsch, making this a flavor packed, well balanced cocktail. Unfortunately, the use of some rarer ingredients and the need for careful measuring means that you will be hard pressed to find a bar around here that can even make this drink, but if you are wanting to try one, let me know the next time you are in my neck of the woods. Cheers!

The Modernista
2 oz Scotch
1/2 oz dark Jamaican Rum
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Absinthe
2 dashes Orange Bitters

Vintage Cocktails #26: The Mamie Taylor

The Mamie Taylor is an oft forgotten highball that had its spotlight in the cocktail world much the same as its namesake; short and sweet. A simple variation on the non-alcoholic Horse’s Neck, this cocktail was all the rage during the 1900′s, but faded from popularity soon after. As with many of the classics, prohibition, and the lack of access to many quality spirits may have had an impact in the drinks decline.

“The Post Standard”, 7th March 1902

“It was while Miss Taylor was the prima donna of an opera company playing at Ontario Beach, near Rochester, in 1899,” he said, “that she was asked with a number of other members of the company to go out sailing on the lake. As the day was hot and the breeze rather strong, the party returned after a few hours longing for some cooling refreshments. When Miss Taylor was asked what she would have she expressed the wish for a long but not strong drink–in fact, a claret lemonade. When the drink was served it was very evident that it wasn’t a claret lemonade, for it looked like a delicious long drink of sparkling champagne. On tasting it Miss Taylor found itmuch to her liking, but asked to have the flavor softened with a piece of lemon peel. When this was done the new combination drink was declared a complete success. Bystanders had been watching the proceedings and noticing the evident enjoyment with which Miss Taylor and a few of her friends relished in new drink they finally asked the hotel keepr what drink it was that was being served to them and without hesitation the hotel man replied “a Mamie Taylor” and the name seemed to meet with instantaneous favour and has become famous all over the country.”

I really enjoyed the Mamie Taylor. The ginger beer really pairs well with the scotch, creating a surprisingly light and refreshing beverage perfect,

The Mamie Taylor
2 oz Scotch
3/4 oz Lime Juice
Spicy Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer

Blood and Sand

Vintage Cocktails #10: The Blood and Sand

The Blood and Sand is an interesting cocktail in that it uses Scotch. Scotch is notorious for not playing well with other liquids, and as such, not many drinks call for the use of Scotch. However, in Vintage Cocktails, Ted Haigh lists 4 of them, the Blood and Sand perhaps being the most well known.

Blood and Sand
1 oz Scotch
1 oz Orange Juice
3/4 oz Cherry Brandy
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth

This drink is a great example of how you can take 4 things that seemingly have no connection, and turn them into something great. And while I liked the recipe as provided, my orange juice was a little weak on the flavor, and I would dial down the vermouth just a tad.

Arnauds Special

Vintage Cocktails #3: Arnaud’s Special

Arnaud’s Special is an interesting cocktail in that it contains Scotch. There are only 4 drinks in Vintage Cocktails that include Scotch, and most people have only heard of one: the
Blood and Sand. I am curious as to why there are not more Scotch drinks however, as it is a whisky and there seems to be plenty of those. Granted it’s bolder flavors and smokiness can prove difficult, but all the more reason that people should be taking on the challenge.

The Arnaud’s is really a variation on the Manhattan, and a succesful one at that.

2 oz Scotch
1 oz Dubonnet Rouge
2 dashes orange bitters