Peated whisky can seem like a difficult beast to tame, especially when it comes to mixing. In less-than-deft hands the smokiness can prove overpowering, masking other flavours.
We’ve asked four renowned bartenders to pick cocktails that’ll set you on the right tracks and make you fall in love with peated whisky once and for all.
Josh Paper, co-owner of Wildebeest in Vancouver, Canada, recommends the Uppercut, a cocktail finished with a spray of peated whisky.
- 45 ml calvados
- 10 ml Punt e Mes
- 5 ml Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Liquer
- 45 ml room-temperature filtered water
- 1 dash of Regans’ Orange Bitters
- Ardbeg 10, to spray
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass then pour into a snifter.
- Spray with Ardbeg 10.
2. Canal Street
Created by Matty Hutchison, bartender at Edinburgh’s Bramble, is “a rich, herbal, fruity and heavily peated sour”.
- 25 ml Jägermeister
- 25 ml The Bræmble Gin Liqueur
- 10 ml Lagavulin 16
- 10 ml vanilla syrup
- 20 ml lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
- Dry shake.
- Shake with ice.
- Strain into a chilled coupe.
3. Smokin’ Word
A take on the classic cocktail Last Word, the Smokin’ Word was created by Kyle Jamieson of Edinburgh’s Panda & Sons.
- 35 ml Laphroaig 10
- 20 ml Yellow Chartreuse
- 20 ml Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Liqueur
- 20 ml lemon juice
- Shake all ingredients.
- Strain into coupette glass.
- Garnish with a brandied cherry (or a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry).
4. The Douglas
The Head Bartender at L’Abbattoir in Vancouver, Katie Ingram, has created The Douglas cocktail, combining vibrant citrus flavours with a smoky, peated whisky.
- 45 ml Lagavulin 16
- 15 ml Green Chartreuse
- 10 ml Fino sherry
- 20 ml lime juice
- 15 ml simple syrup (1:1 ratio)
- 2 dashes Bittered Sling Cascade Celery Bitters
- 1 small handful of fresh wood sorrel
- 60 ml tonic water
- Combine all ingredients except the tonic water in a tall glass with three large ice cubes.
- Stir all ingredients together and add crushed ice (but don’t fill the glass to the top).
- Add the tonic water and stir again.
- Fill to the top with crushed ice.
- Zest a lime and garnish the cocktail with ‘lime hairs’.
- Serve with a straw.