Halloween is just around the corner, you guys! We’re now in the final countdown. Are you ready? Are you surrounded by expertly carved jack-o-lanterns? Have you been celebrating all week in sexy hazmat suits? (please, no) Are you looking for a delicious Halloween cocktail that doesn’t involve candy corn? (please, yes!)
This cocktail, The Devil’s Bet, is a version of one I was making at the Phoenicia Flea a few weeks ago in order for people to try the coffee cocktail syrup. I love whisk(e)y and a sparkling hard cider together. And I was making this cocktail to demonstrate the versatility of coffee as a cocktail ingredient. The coffee syrup in this drink adds a rich and aromatic nuttiness. A perfect flavor for the colder seasons and great with brown spirits. People might not think to put these unexpected flavors together – Scotch whisky, coffee, cider & lemon – but it works really well.
It’s also CIDER WEEK and I wanted to have a cocktail using a locally produced hard cider. I discovered this Rebel Reserve sparkling hard cider a few weekends ago during a day trip up to the Hudson Valley. After a hike cut short by inclement weather, we (pretty quickly) decided to change plans and take a tasting tour of the Brotherhood Winery, the oldest operating winery in America, instead! I highly recommend the next time you go on a hike and you’re just not feeling it, to take a winery tour and tasting instead. We were pretty happy with our decision. That mountain will still be there next weekend!
I was also pretty excited to use Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition in this cocktail. Cutty Sark has always been an easy-drinking, lighter style blended Scotch whisky, different from the super smoky peat-heavy kinds most people identify Scotch with. But I think this is what makes it so great in a cocktail. A Scotch with tons of peat can be way too overwhelming in a drink with other ingredients that can’t compete. This new-ish release has taken notes from its prohibition past, with a beautiful sleek black bottle and a much higher proof than its usual 80 proof, coming in at 100 proof! But the higher proof version is remarkably smooth and has a pretty complex flavor profile. Musky and sweet with caramel, wood smoke and honey notes on the nose and palate with a bit of a salty and rye spice finish. And at $30 a pop, you won’t go broke on a bottle. Also, not gonna lie, the retro style design of the bottle is pretty damned sexy. Hellooo, Cutty Pro!
The Devil’s Bet
2 1/2 oz Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition
1 oz Coffee Syrup
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3-4 oz Sparkling Hard Dry Apple Cider
Lemon Wheel for garnish
Add the whisky, syrup and lemon juice to an ice-filled shaker. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a highball or Collins glass filled with ice. Top with hard cider. Use a straw to mix well.