Scotch can be a tricky spirit to mix with. But why is that exactly? Well, it’s a bit fussy about which other ingredients it hangs out with. Unlike bourbon which is all “Like, whatever dude”, Scotch has just a few trusted friends with ginger, lemon, apple and orange being its closest chums. Its other quirk is that it gets on great with the Italians (amari and sweet vermouth) yet flat out refuses to work with anything French. It took me years to get my stubborn head around that but eventually I started to catch on and the Double Haggis was my first Scotch recipe that I was happy with. It all came together a few years ago on a Burns supper and whisky tour in the Scottish Highlands with, well, a few trusted friends. Of particular inspiration was wee Glaswegian Tammy who was working her effortless mixing magic behind Craigellachie Hotel’s Quaich bar with a choice of 900 different malts for a base spirit (I think there was a single bottle each of bourbon, rum and gin for those averse to the ocean o’ malt). When she made me a drink with single malt, lemon and apple juice a little light flicked on somewhere in my head. And that’s often how it goes with cocktails: you can read all the books and blogs you like but there’s simply no substitute for positioning yourself on the other side of the stick from a master mixer.
2oz / 60ml Scotch of choice (but not too mild or too powerful – Monkey Shoulder is a good choice).
0.75oz / 22.5ml Glayva (Drambuie would also work).
1.5oz / 45ml cloudy apple juice (aka apple cider in the US).
0.75oz / 22.5ml lemon juice.
2 dashes orange bitters.
Shake with ice and strain into a DOF glass containing a large chunk of ice*.
Toast Robert Burns – born on this very day in 1759. And Tammy.
The name? Well after a hard day’s whisky tasting we realised that a single portion of haggis is never enough…
*Also suitable for the ice ball trick.