Drink of the Week: The Scotchsicle

The Glenrothes ScotchsiclePreviously on DOTW, we discussed the phenomenon of the manufacturers of theoretically mixing-unfriendly single malt scotches promoting actual cocktails made with their brands. Still, while last week’s choice was traditionalist and severe enough for the most exacting cocktail classicist or even, perhaps, some Scotch purists, this drink is sweet. Very sweet.

In a way it’s fitting because the brand that’s promoting the Scotchsicle, the Glenrothes, is not only blessed by a marketing department ingenious enough to send me a bottle, but a kinder, gentler, sweeter sort of brew than most other Scotches of my acquaintance. The smooth, critically acclaimed liquor is actually more to my own slightly sweet-leaning personal taste than most Scotches when served on the rocks or with a bit of water or soda.

For those who like their sweetness on steroids, however, the Glenrothes have provided us with another way to go. I doubt Sean Connery, Groundskeeper Willie and some cocktail fanatics I can think of would approve, but those with big, big sweet tooth’s just might. It’s definitely a drink you have for dessert.

The Scotchsicle

2 ounces Scotch whisky (preferably the Glenrothes, naturally)
1 ounce triple sec
3/4 of an ounce fresh squeezed orange juice
3/4 of an ounce vanilla syrup
Cinnamon powder (garnish, very highly recommended)

Combine Scotch, triple sec, orange juice and vanilla syrup in a shaker with plentiful ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass. Top with a fairly generous sprinkling of cinnamon powder and prepare for the boozy sugar rush.


A few words about ingredients. I used inexpensive Bols triple sec for my Scotchsicle, but feel free to experiment with a more high end product like Combier, suggested in the Glenrothes’ original recipe, or perhaps Cointreau. I suspect it’ll be an improvement. As for the vanilla syrup, you can use the Torani or Monin vanilla syrups that are standard in coffee houses as well as some bars. However, if you want to save a few bucks, you can simply combine 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of superfine sugar and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract — or, if you really want to get fancy I understand half of an actual ground vanilla bean will work — to make roughly a cup of syrup, which you can refrigerate and use at will. (Whatever you don’t use, you can then combine with soda water to make your own home-made cream soda.)

Finally, don’t forget the cinnamon sprinkling. As if I haven’t emphasized this enough, this is a very sweet drink and a healthy sprinkling of cinnamon is essential to take the edge off. If you want to take the edge off a bit further, you can do what I tried and add 1-3 dashes of some orange bitters.


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Drink of the Week: The Smokey Scotsman

the Smokey ScotsmanAnyone here remember the gag from “Risky Business” when a teenage, home alone Tom Cruise destroys his dad’s expensive Chivas Regal by polluting it with Coke? The idea of mixing a really good single malt Scotch with anything other than a smidgen of water no doubt strikes many today as nothing short of sacrilege. Indeed, classic cocktail heads will note that, like Irish whiskey, only a very select few cocktails call for Scotch. In cocktail land, the North American whiskeys tend to dominate.

Nevertheless, we are noting a contrary trend here at DOTW central. Manufacturers of single malts — presumably even more resistant to promiscuous mixing than a blend like Chivas — are letting their guard down and openly promulgating cocktail recipes via such highly praiseworthy PR strategies as sending me a free bottle of very good Scotch alongside an intriguing and surprisingly good recipe.

Lacking any added sweetness, the Smokey Scotsman is not a recipe for everyone, but what is? It certainly has its Calvinist charms to go with the very sturdy product that is the Macallan 10 Year-Old, which I’ve enjoyed imbibing in several different forms over the last couple of weeks. I had some issues understanding the recipe at first, but now that I do, I’m ready to declare this cocktail to be of the elect. (Yes, this is your comparative religions edition of DOTW.) It helps to really like Scotch and sage, though.

The Smokey Scotsman

2 ounces Scotch whisky (very preferably The Macallan 10 year-old single malt, of course)
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
3-5 sage leaves

Pour Scotch over sage leaves and muddle the leaves into the booze and lemon juice. Add ice, shake like crazy and pour — do not strain, unless you like your drinks as severe as the most hellfire and brimstone Scottish preacher — into an old fashioned glass, preferably chilled.


Since this is, as far as I can tell, a rather new beverage, I don’t know of many alternative versions. I did try this myself adding a teaspoon of sugar to the mix. The result was less forbidding but also less interesting