The Black Watch.

All right, so you noticed that’s not Black Watch tartan. It’s as close as I could get. Don’t tell anyone.

The Black Watch.

Since it’s St Andrew’s day – Scotland’s national day – I thought I might post something appropriate. Named after a Scottish military unit, The Black Watch is a variation of my own Lord Lucan. I changed the ingredients and proportions slightly and was looking for an excuse to test my newest bottle of bitters. I’m not usually a big fan of Fee’s bitters but I’d heard good things about their Black Walnut bitters. And very nice they are too, giving a pleasant nutty woodiness to all they touch. If you’re a bitter fan I’d recommend them but if you just want to make a Black Watch you could go without or use a dash of good old Angostura. This drink is deep and dark yet still allows the flavour of the whisky to shine through. Hopefully it’s more accessible than its twin brother as Averna is usually more available than Lucano. Ramazzotti would also work as they are quite close in profile – I’d call Averna “earthier” and Ramazzotti “brighter”. You could certainly try a different Scotch and a good blend such as Johnnie Walker Black Label or even a young malt would be perfectly at home in this mix. In general, Scotch, amari, sweet vermouth and bitters are a combination that can be very rewarding to experiment with so let’s hear those mixing glasses clinking!


The Black Watch.*

2oz / 60ml Scotch (I used Monkey Shoulder).

0.75oz / 22.5ml Averna (or Ramazzotti – see text).

0.5oz / 15ml Punt e Mes (or a lesser sweet vermouth if you must).

2 dashes Fee’s Black Walnut bitters (or 1 dash Angostura).

Stir with ice and strain into a DOF glass containing a big chunk of clear ice.

Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

Toast The Black Watch – marching around in kilts since 1725.


*Yes, I am aware of an existing drink of the same name. If you’d rather drink a mixture of Scotch, Kahlua and soda be my guest. I’m reclaiming the name from the Dark Ages.

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