Scotch Cocktails: A Brief Reflection

Dilute Scotch with mere spirits or even cheap liqueurs? Mon dieu!

A few weeks ago I posted a Twitter question about Scotch cocktails and the response was one of horror. Dilute Scotch with mere spirits or even cheap liqueurs? Mon Dieu!

Yet the question had a purpose. When Tony and I celebrated my birthday in Sin City, we went to Book and Stage, a sports bar in the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas casino resort. All of the Cosmopolitan bartenders are trained in mixology to some degree. Although Book and Stage is a sports bar, not Cosmo’s main mixology bar, it’s basically all-you-can-drink of whatever you please provided you’re reliably feeding the video poker machines. (Crummy well drinks and poor service at other Strip bars … your days are numbered.)

So, since our bartender opened the door (he didn’t ask us what we wanted, per se, but what spirits we favored), we let him ply his trade upon us. And after seeing him succeed with rum- and whiskey-based drinks, I proposed a Scotch-based cocktail of his own invention.

He was a bit stumped but seemed game for the exercise. So, after consulting with two of his co-workers, he ended up bringing me a total of four different beverages, using Glenfiddich 12-year as the pour of choice. All of them were quite tasty — one barely contained any Scotch at all, whereas another was clearly Scotch with a few other things added to the mix.

Scotch is hard to blend; the peaty taste is unique. But some flavor combinations — think mild mint and cream — do pair favorably in the right proportion.

So, yes. Scotch cocktails that taste good are certainly possible.

But me? From now on, I’ll keep it a neat double.

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About jason

Jason is the principal of Gillikin Consulting, a business-media and ethics consultancy based in Grand Rapids, Mich.