5 Scotch Cocktails Reimagined With American Single Malts

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Scotch Cocktails Reimagined With American Single Malts

The main ingredient in classic scotch drinks is, unsurprisingly, Scotch. But it doesn’t have to be. American single malts are surging in popularity. Independent American distilleries are becoming award-winning single malts gaining a following in the whiskey community. 

The American Single Malt Association often certifies their production to ensure they adhere to strict guidelines as they flesh out this new vertical. They also make for a fantastic substitution in classic Scotch cocktails.

The guys over at All American Whiskey have reimagined classic Scotch drinks using carefully sourced American single malts. But because they’re slightly crazy, they also sourced every other spirit or mixer to ensure almost all the ingredients were top-shelf and made in the U.S.A. They even made their house cocktail, a drink that raises its kilt at Scotland’s century-long hold on whisky, an American twist on a Rob Roy called “Fuck Bagpipes.”

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1. Death To Scotland

A glass of Death To Scotland

Based on the classic “Auld Alliance,” a drink to celebrate the historic alliance between England and France. The original used crème de cassis and Scotch, but recent versions have deviated. 

If you order one at a halfway decent bar, you’re more likely to get a drink like Stewart McClusky’s version, which is way better. This recipe deviates further and thumbs its nose both at Scotland and France and their silly accord. Here’s the American version: Death to Scotland.

The Amaro is from Don Ciccio & Figli, an Italian American family business making Amaro from an old family recipe since 1967. Quady Palamino Fino Sherry is a renowned spirit made from Palamino grapes in the San Joaquin Valley of California. They employ the same solera methods used in Jerez, Spain, the birthplace of sherry.

Maine Craft Distilling uses locally grown floor-malted barley, smoked with Maine peat and seaweed, to produce their Fifty Stone Single Malt. Of course, it’s garnished with a blood-orange peel because of war.

Get the recipe here.

2. Bent Rusty Nail

Bent Rusty Nail

A Rusty Nail is classic because it’s simple, delicious, and boozy as hell—just two ingredients, Scotch and Drambuie. But since Drambuie is made from Scotch, it’s really considered one and a half ingredients. As far as we know, there are no Drambuie spirits made in America. 

But we’re committed here, so we decided to go nuts and use Garrison Brothers Honey Dew, honey-infused bourbon, which is kind of twisted. Hence the name, the Bent Rusty Nail.

Get the recipe here.

3. S. T. F. U.

A glass of S.T.F.U 

The Last Word has become one of those old cocktails from the 30s you find on a drink menu that tells you the bartender isn’t kidding around. 

The original is gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice. We’re basing ours on the Last Ward but with Scotch which we’re changing to American Single Malt. We call it S.T.F.U.

Tattersall Amaro is an award-winning amaro made in Minneapolis. It contrasts brilliantly with the Ranger Creek Rimfire, a smoky Texas Single Malt. The garnish of a Meyer lemon peel is where the genius kicks in. Meyers lemons are more savory than regular lemons, a flavor profile that goes well with a single malt.

Get the recipe here.

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4. Bull’s Revenge

A glass of Bull’s Revenge

Harry Craddock invented the Blood and Sand cocktail around 1930. It’s named after the 1922 Rudy Valentino film of the same name, in which Valentino played a bullfighter. 

The drink used Heering cherry liqueur, which is Scandanavian, and we can’t have that. We use Ciccio & Figli again, but this time their legendary Cerasum Apertivo, which uses three different cherries and Sakura blossoms and is more tart, more bitter than Heering. 

That flavor goes well with Uncouth vermouth by Bianca Miraglia in the Hudson Valley in New York. You don’t have to be brave to use those robust spirits in a cocktail, but if you’re feeling timid, the Courage and Conviction Sherry Cask Single Malt will see you through.

Get the recipe here.

5. The Consigliere 

A glass of The Consigliere

The Godfather is arguably the best American movie ever. The story is quintessentially American, and Coppola’s film is perfect in every frame, but everyone remembers the wrong character.

The Godfather is influential, but the Consigliere gets the shit done. The Godfather just grunts and points. Our version pays homage to the most essential player in the Italian family, the Consigliere.

Oak City Amaretto is made from a family recipe in Raleigh, N.C. It is a classic Italian recipe for Amaretto, but all the ingredients are sourced in America. Oregon’s Hood River Distillers has been making spirits since 1969, and they’ve made McCarthy’s single malt for 20 years.

This single malt whiskey is considered the very first—the Godfather—of American Single Malts.

Get the recipe here.

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