Drink of the Week: Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat.Happy Halloween!

And, because I actually want you to enjoy this holiday devoted to all that pleasurably perturbs us, I’ll spare you my original selection for this week, the Aqua Velva. That very blue creation was the source of the best joke in David Fincher’s fact-based creepfest, “Zodiac” — which would have been fun to talk about as I’m old enough to have had childhood nightmares about encountering the all too real Zodiac Killer. The only problem is that gin, vodka, Sprite and blue curacao taste horrifying together and I’m not here to terrify your tongue!

It was pretty much too late for me to switch gears and finally take on the Zombie — which I know I kind of owe you guys — but I was lucky that a well-timed publicist’s e-mail brought along a very tasty treat from the clever people behind Laphraoig 10-Year-Old Scotch Whiskey and I still had my last free bottle from them on hand. They have once again come up with a really delightful drink that creates a lovely counterpoint comprised of a sweet taste we all remember from childhood and the very adult pleasures of a very smokey Scotch.

Trick or Treat

1 1/2 ounces Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
3 ounces apple cider (or, really, apple juice)
1 ounce fresh lemon sour (1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1/2 ounce simple syrup)
Lemon slice (garnish)

You can build this one in a more slender style Tom Collins-like glass or, as is my preference, a double sized rocks/old fashioned glass. Start with plenty of ice, and add each ingredient precisely in order. Believe it or not, it’s important.

This means, you’ll start out with the very smokey, very evocative, Laphroaig Scotch over your ice. Next, the apple cider or juice. (I say this because there appears to be no real difference between the two, if you’re talking non-alcoholic beverages.) Finally, dump in a one-ounce solution of 50% fresh lemon juice and 50% simple syrup…do not stir, shake or otherwise mix in any way. The laws of physics will give you all the mixing you need on this one. Also, give this one a second to get cold and cold. It’s better that way. Sip and salute the scary movie performer or actress of your choice. This week, I’m feeling a bit Karloff.

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I experimented with this drink to see if I could depart from the Laphroaig recipe at all. I’m sure they’ll be relieved to read that I really couldn’t. Shaking it rendered it dull and ordinary. Switching out the single malt for a decent Brand X Scotch rendered it equally bleh.

Once again, it’s clear the Laphroig people understand counterpoint, as their smokey, very unsweet beverage really blends nicely with the simplest, sweetest of all-age liquid pleasures. I’d really forgotten how much I love apple juice, not to mention how much weight I’m likely go gain from knocking back too much of the stuff straight this week. It’s basically just fruit sugar water, but what sugar water!

Of course, it’s best with the Scotch and the other stuff. I drank this alone, but I imagine it would be even better with a friend. I’m sure the late Mr. Karloff would agree.