August 3rd, 2009
Invented at Eastern Standard
1 oz Dewar’s Scotch
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz honey syrup
Shake with ice and strain into a coupe. Fill with sparkling wine and garnish with a flamed lemon twist dropped in. This recipe was published on the Cocktail Virgin.
Posted in Champagne, Cocktails, Recipes, Whiskey | No Comments »
May 13th, 2009
A man named James Espey visited Boston recently to promote a rare Scotch whiskey that costs $2,000 a bottle. Called the Last Drop, it came from a hidden treasure that Espey and partners Tom Jago and Peter Fleck–all three are seasoned moguls of the international spirits trade–discovered in a dim corner of Scotland’s Auchentoshan distillery. Their find? Three sherry butts of whiskey blended in 1972 from 70 malt and 12 grain spirits distilled no later than 1960. Two-thirds of the barrels’ contents had evaporated or otherwise disappeared. The partners transferred the remainder into 1,327 bottles, which are now being sold to rich folk around the globe.
What does a 50-year-old, $2,000 whiskey taste like? Heavenly. Most mortals will never in their lives sip a beverage this complex and elegant: a symphony of toasty, oaky, dried-fruit flavors laced with smoke, leather and spice, with an epic finish. But, really, when you get into the thousands-of-dollars range for a bottle of hooch, the defining characteristic is rarity. Nothing heightens flavors and aromas like knowing you are swallowing a historical artifact. Of course, many of those who buy a bottle of the Last Drop are not going to drink it; they’re eventually going to auction it on eBay for at least 10 times the original price. Espey, who held onto a case of the stuff for himself, acknowledged as much.
In a funny contrast to the rarefied beverage he was publicizing, Espey frankly came across as more businessman than connoisseur. One of the highlights of his career is having invented Malibu Rum. Sporting a pair of cufflinks that together spelled CHILL OUT, he spoke in the vocabulary of market research and cases sold rather than distillation and barrel aging. When he told the story of the Last Drop (whose tagline, “Before there is no more,” belabors the point), it was clear that he was as enamored of the new brand he created as the whiskey it showcased.
Good luck procuring a drop of this elixir for yourself. Only eight bottles have been allocated to the Massachusetts market. I don’t know whether any have sold yet, or to whom. You may have better luck if you fly to Hong Kong. Espey will soon entertain 50 executives there and was confident that every one of them would snap up a bottle of the Last Drop.
Tags: blended, Last Drop Distillers, luxury, scotch
Posted in Whiskey | 2 Comments »
March 26th, 2008
The Independent’s cheeky and clever head bartender, Evan Harrison, had a dream. He would take the cases of third-rate, Cluny blended scotch that somehow ended up in the restaurant’s basement, create a special menu of cocktails, and sell the drinks for $5. And the Independent said, “Yea brother, and we will donate the money from those scotch cocktails to Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services.”
That’s how Scotch for Old People came about. If you’re tired of cocktail events that take the easy way out by featuring premium spirits, if you want to relive that 1982 wedding reception in the VFW hall, if you want to know what your grandfather was drinking when he came back from Korea, then go to the Indo on the evening of Monday, March 31.
A special guest will join Evan behind the bar that night: drinkboston’s own Scott Howe, who, appropriately enough, hasn’t been on the stick since helping out at his dad’s bar in Worcester during high school.
Since the Indo is one of Boston’s best bars, Scotch for Old People isn’t just about cranking out Scotch and Sodas and Rusty Nails. Here are some of the rough-meets-refined tipples you’re in for:
1 1/2 oz Cluny scotch, 1/2 oz green Chartreuse, 1 oz lemon, 1/2 oz honey
2 oz Cluny scotch, 1/2 oz lemon, 1 tsp orgeat, 1 tsp curacao
1 oz Cluny scotch, 1 oz sweet vermouth, splash Benedictine
2 oz Cluny scotch, 3/4 oz lemon, 1/4 oz simple syrup
1 oz Cluny scotch, 1 oz Lillet Blanc, 1/2 oz Drambuie
The Indo’s general manager, Jess Willis, says, “Scotch for Old People will run from 8:00 until we run out of scotch, or 1:00 a.m., whichever comes first.” Hint: Monday nights are popular with bar industry folk, who will drink just about anything on their night off, so it’s entirely possible the Cluny could be drained by midnight. See you there.
Tags: scotch, senior citizens
Posted in Events, Whiskey | 4 Comments »