Tipperary Cocktail (No. 1)

Tipperary Cocktail (No. 1)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
1/3 Green Chartreuse. (1/2 oz Green Chartreuse)
1/3 Irish Whisky. (1 oz Bushmill’s 10 Year Single Malt, 1/4 oz Gordon & MacPhail Highland Park 8 Year)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

The other day I was picking up some supplies at Cask Store, chatting with my favorite Amandas, when another customer picked up the business card from Cask’s sister bar Rickhouse.  On the back of the card is the recipe for Owen Westman’s cocktail The Laphroig Project.

The Laphroaig Project:
1oz Green Chartreuse
.5oz Laphroaig Quarter Cask
.5oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
.25oz Yellow Chartreuse
1oz Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Fee Peach Btters

Combine all ingredients into mixing tin and shake vigorously. Double-strain over fresh ice in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy.

The customer’s jaw dropped, “What? They are using Single Malt Scotch in a Cocktail!? That is just so wrong!!!”

As if the only proper use for an Islay Malt is to pour it reverently into a glass, with maybe a bit of water freshly dipped from a stream in Scotland, and savor it on its own.

While I do believe there is often a point of diminishing returns with using excessively expensive products in Cocktails, using a half an ounce of Laphroig in a cocktail isn’t going to cause the world to end.  No Scotsmen were harmed in the production of the Laphroaig Project.

When I got to the Tipperary Cocktail, I had a couple problems.

Like the recipes for the Opera, The Widow’s Kiss, and the Jewel, equal parts of booze, vermouth, and liqueur is just a bit too rich for me.  I needed to dry this out a bit, and allow the whiskey to shine, before I could start to enjoy it.

My other problem was I am supremely unimpressed with most Irish Whiskey in mixed drinks, especially this one, Bushmill’s Single Malt 10 Year.  As far as I can tell, you might as well be adding vaguely malt flavored water, for all it contributes to most mixed drinks.  Clearly it is not a “mixing whiskey”.

Thinking about what to use to “punch up” the Bushmill’s, I cast my gaze about the basement booze supply. American Whiskey? I think they would over shadow whatever pale character existed in the Irish. Other spirits? Again, hard to think of something that would get along and not run it over. What about Scotch? Hm, there is even a Peated Irish Whiskey, maybe Scotch wouldn’t be too much of a stretch…

So let’s fix it, and piss off some Scotch Whiskey Nerds at the same time.

But what Scotch? It would have to be something not too crazy and over the top in it’s Peaty Smokiness.

How about Highland Scotch? It tends towards the characters I like in Single Malt Scotch, without overwhelming with extremes of Peat and Smoke. Honing in further, I really like Highland Park‘s Whiskies, which are technically from Orkney. (I’ll make a Tipperary for anyone who can identify the source of following quote without resorting to google, “Snow storms forecast imminently in areas Dogger, Viking, Moray, Forth, and Orkney.”) Normally, I keep the Highland Park 12 Year Old around the house, but this Gordon and MacPhail Highland Park 8 Year is a new favorite. Introduced to me by David Driscoll, the Spirits buyer at K&L Wines, there is a lot of the same character you find in the 12, but it has a little bit more youthful punch. It is also a fantastic deal for the money.

Second, I decided, instead of an equal parts cocktail, we’d make it a 2-1-1 version.  That isn’t far from some of my favorite Manhattan Variations, so it seemed a safe bet.

And damn, if that isn’t tasty!  Hit this one exactly in my aromatic cocktail sweet spot.  Lightening the Vermouth and Liqueur changes this from an after dinner candy, to a digestiv.  The added interest of the Scotch brings both whiskies to life.

Give it a try with the Highland Park, or another Scotch Whisky, and let me know what you think.  Don’t be afraid to piss off some Scotsmen or the Irish.  Though we might have to call it “Tipperary Cocktail (No. 3)”.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.