The theme for this month’s Mixology Monday, brought to us this month by Dagreb of the Nihil Utopia blog, is Forgiving Cocktails, as in a “little too much of this and a touch to little of that.” The challenge is to submit a cocktail that is tolerant of a bit of sloppiness in its preparation. This lack of precision is, of course, exactly the opposite of what we generally do for this online cocktail party. While things like Rum and Coke or Jack and Coke came to mind, I decided on the Rusty Nail. In the past, I firmly believed that Scotch should be mixed only with ice or a few drops of water, if that. This belief also included the doctrine that real Scotch wasn’t blended! Well, I finally saw the light and discovered that good Scotch can make a great cocktail and that well made blends can make a great Scotch.
Sometime back, I posted the Smokin’ Nail. This is a tea smoked combination of Single Malt Scotch and Drambuie. I have seen Rusty Nail recipes use anywhere from 4:”1 Scotch:Drambuie to 1:1. For the Smokin’ Nail, I used 4:1. Since the exact ratio is variable, you should get a decent cocktail even from an inexperienced bartender. In addition, you can add bitters and/or a twist of lemon. Dave Stolte muddles a lemon peel and bitters in an old fashioned glass, and then builds the drink adding ice, Scotch and Drambuie. At this year’s Tales of the Cocktail, the folks from Monkey Shoulder were serving up a delicious Rusty Nail. This is my version of that cocktail:
- 1 1/2 oz. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch
- 3/4 oz. Drambuie
- 1 dash Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters – optional
- 1 lemon peel – optional
- Chill an Old Fashioned Glass with ice and water
- Combine the Scotch, Drambuie and bitters (if using) in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill
- Strain into chilled glass over a large fresh ice cube
- Express the lemon peel over the cocktail and discard the peel.
I like adding the bitters. They decrease the sweetness of the Drambuie without detracting from its flavors. The lemon peel adds further complexity.
So, a fresh glass, a chunk of ice, some Scotch and a little Drambuie – you’re good to go!!