3 oz. Teacher’s blended Scotch whisky
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
4 dashes Fee’s orange bitters
Ice well, stirring, swirling, or otherwise gently chilling, and strain. A maraschino cherry is the traditional garnish.
The Rob Roy is a fine cocktail that almost any liquor cabinet should be able to produce: it asks for little in the way of the exotic and doesn’t even require fresh fruit! I judge it to be mild, smooth and delicious… a pale, aromatic, eminently quaffable concoction. I made a few this evening after noting that Looka!‘s cocktail of the day today was the Perfect Manhattan, which seemed a good idea. Forgetting that I have a bottle of bourbon, I reached for the scotch instead, the substitution of which yields a Rob Roy. Quite a happy accident.
2 oz. rye whiskey
1 lump (or tsp) sugar
1/4 tsp pastis
3-4 dashes Peychaud bitters
1 lemon twist
Coat the inside of an Old Fashioned glass with the pastis, pouring off any excess. Muddle sugar and Peychaud bitters with a few drops of water (less than 1/4 tsp), or use simple syrup. Stir rye in an iced shaker to chill and strain into glass. Twist lemon peel over drink to release its oils.
Despite an abiding fondness for the Old Fashioned, I had not until now sampled the Sazerac, its close relative and one of New Orleans’ signature cocktails. In part, I blame this shortcoming on a perpetual lack of ingredients: I prefer Scotch for neat drinking and Bourbon for mixing, particularly dislike the anise flavors of pastis (Absinthe, Pernod, Herbsaint, etc), and have never owned a bottle of Peychaud bitters because, well, its raison d’être these days is the Sazerac. Fortunately, my recent commitment to stocking a broader bar means that I now have a bottle of Pernod to employ when a pastis is called for, and a bottle of Peychaud on the general principle that I should find more uses for bitters. I picked up some Old Overholt Rye just today, and in the Sazerac I have found ample justification for keeping all three in constant supply.
If you like an Old Fashioned, you will very much enjoy a Sazerac. If you’re not one for short whiskey drinks, this may not be for you, though I would encourage testing that assumption. If you dislike licorice and anise, don’t be put off — the rye seems to mask the aspects of anisette that I find objectionable, and yet the drink is much more complex than straight rye with a bit of sugar. There must be undertones to the Pernod and Peychaud’s that emerge from this venerable synthesis, because there is a honeyed cherry fruitiness to the Sazerac that makes all the difference in the world.
Others have written on the subject better and more extensively than I could hope to, and I direct attention in particular to Chuck Taggart’s excellent appreciation of the Sazerac from his Gumbo Pages site. In print, the recently published vol 1. of Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail contains a biography of A. A. Peychaud by Phil Greene, touching in many places on the Sazerac’s 170 year history.
Into a bottle which will hold a full quart, or a little over, drop 6 ounces of Orange Peel sliced very thin, and add 1 pint of Whiskey. Cork the bottle securely and let it stand two weeks, shaking the bottle frequently during that time. Next strain, the mixture, add the Syrup, pour the strained mixture back into the cleaned bottle and let it stand 3 days, shaking well now and then during the first day. Next, pour a teacupful of the mixture into a mortar and beat up with it 1 drachm Powdered Alum, 1 drachm Carbonate of Potash. Put this mixture back into the bottle and let it stand for 10 days, at the expiration of which time the Curacoa will be clear and ready for use.
Fill a large Bar glass ⅔ full Shaved Ice.
1 teaspoonful Bar Sugar dissolved in little Water.
Juice of ½ Lemon.
1 jigger of Whiskey, Brandy or Gin, as preferred.
Shake; strain into Sour glass; dash with Claret and serve.
Pour a quart of Whiskey or other Liquor desired into a Bar measure or glass pitcher and add:
1 jigger Gum Syrup.
1 pony Curacoa.
¾ pony Angostura Bitters.
Pour back and forth from one measure or pitcher into another measure or pitcher until the liquid is thoroughly mixed. Bottle and cork.