Sunday, February 25, 2007

Scoff Law Cocktail

The Scoff Law Cocktail

1 1/2 oz. rye (I used 6-year-old Sazerac)
1 oz. dry vermouth
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. real pomegranate grenadine

Shake in an iced cocktail shaker and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

What a harsh name for such a smooth drink!

The Scoff Law Cocktail comes from Ted Haigh's fantastic Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, which notes the drink originated during prohibition and was named in honor of those intrepid souls who refused to recognize the 18th amendment.

Much like the Havana in the previous post, the flavor balance in this drink is amazing. Healthy doses of vermouth and grenadine round the corners off the rye just enough without concealing it's taste, and the lemon juice brightens & lifts everything. There's a sweetness up front that gives way to the rye on the finish, and the citrus undertone pulls the whole package together. This is a spectacularly refreshing drink, and pretty too- it pours a beautiful light ruby red.

I also made one using Vya vermouth, which added a floral aspect that further softened up the overall texture. But if you don't already have a bottle of the Vya handy, don't go out of your way for it just for this drink- Your Martini & Rossi or Noilly Prat will do fine.

One quick note on grenadine: If it's at all possible, use decent grenadine. Whereas many recipes only call for a dash or two, you'll be using almost a full ounce in the Scoff Law, and you will definitely taste it. In fact, if you've been toying with the idea of making your own grenadine, this drink might be the perfect incentive!

Bottoms up!

Saturday, February 17, 2007



1 1/2 oz. Gosling's rum
3/4 oz. Cointreau
1/2 fresh lime juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
splash of orange juice
dash of orange bitters

Combine all ingredients in ice-filled shaker. Shake until cold and strain into sugar-rimmed cocktail glass. Garnish with edible flowers.

Welcome! Since I'm currently in the grips of sub-freezing temps, I decided to start things off with a drink that evokes a warmer climate. This one comes from The Art of the Bar by Jeff Hollinger and Rob Schwartz.

The first thing I noticed was how well-balanced this drink is. It's both tart and sweet, with a gentle, natural orange flavor throughout. The rum comes through but doesn't dominate, which makes me think this would be a great drink to convert someone who's not necessarily a fan of rum. I also used fresh-squeezed O.J., which livens up the recipe a bit.

If you're in an experimental mood, try a variant using Rhum Barbancourt instead of the Gosling''ll result in a drink that is lighter, crisper, and has a bit more citrus bite.

One last note: In many recipes, Myers's is often considered an acceptable substitute for Gosling's due to both being dark rums. If you use Myers's in this recipe you will be disappointed. Using Myers's utterly changes the complexion of the drink, deadening the citrus flavors and leaving the whole affair flat-tasting.

Happy mixing!