The Kelpie’ll get ye!


Inspired by a comment from a reader and the imminent arrival of St Andrew’s day (now past) I set out on a mission to create the most Scottish cocktail possible. I casually informed Mrs Proof that I was working on a mix containing Scotch, green ginger wine and Buckfast and was authoritatively informed that this would be “disgusting”. And as we know Mrs Proof is never wrong. Against all wisdom I proceeded with my ill-advised experiment and arrived at the concoction presented below. Somewhat Negroniish – or perhaps more Boulevarieresque – in profile it uses the Bucky as an Italian Vermouth substitute and the Crabbie’s as a Campari substitute although skewed more toward green and gingeriness rather than red and orangy rubarbiness. After a little while playing with proportions, the addition of a dash of bitters as a binder and some positive reactions from a couple of test subjects I came to the shattering realisation that Mrs Proof is sometimes wrong. I liked this enough to name it after a mythical Scottish water spirit and present it before you good people.

Those outside of the UK may struggle to get some of these ingredients but green ginger wine can often be found in Chinese grocery shops and a good Italian Vermouth – especially Carpano Antica with its similar vanilla edge – will get you close enough to Buckfast.


1.5oz / 45ml Scotch of choice.*

0.75oz / 22ml Crabbie’s (or another brand) green ginger wine.

0.75oz / 22ml Buckfast tonic wine.

1 dash of aromatic bitters (eg. Angostura or Bogart’s).

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled DoF glass containing a large chunk of ice.

Garnish with a swathe of orange peel.

Toast the Kelpies – keeping small children away from dangerous bodies of water for hundreds of years.

*The Scotch you choose will have quite an influence in the drink. A basic blended Scotch is quite fitting but a single malt is just as acceptable. I plied the middle ground with some Monkey Shoulder.

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