"I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly..."
I couldn't agree more, which is why last week I declared that for the coming month or so I'm dedicating the column to classic Scotch cocktails. Not only is Scotch underused by mixologists, it's also underrated as a cocktail component--when done appropriately, that is.
The exalted status of Scotch whiskey (especially the single-malt variety), albeit a well-deserved one, has left a hardened impression among many that Scotch is a mixology-free zone. But this is really a misguided notion. Its unique flavor profile certainly doesn't make it the easiest of the spirits to use in cocktails, but when used properly it can produce a transformative final product.
When done right, Scotch can also be quite the showcase of versatility, mixing equally well with light, bright ingredients like citrus and orgeat as it does with rich, herbal components like vermouth and absinthe. The Cameron's Kick Cocktail is a perfect example of such versatility--an unlikely combination of Scotch, Irish whisky, lemon juice, and orgeat (almond-flavored syrup lightly essenced with orange flower water and pronounced "ohr-zha") with an orange twist.
Who invented this drink and how, including the inspiration for its name, is not clear. My hunch is the dude's name was Cameron, but who really knows. In the end what really matters is how it tastes, and here's the recipe so you can judge for yourself.
Cameron's Kick Cocktail
1 oz Scotch (a blended like Famous Grouse is good)
1 oz Irish whisky (Jameson's fine but Redbreast is better)
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz orgeat (here's an easy homemade recipe if you can't find it in stores)
Orange twist for garnish
Glass: chilled coupe or cocktail glass
Tools: shaker, strainer
Place ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice and shake uncontrollably like Cameron kicked you in your nards. Strain into your glass, twist the orange peel over the drink to release its oil then place it as garnish.
The Cameron's Kick is fall's perfect summer drink. The Scotch and Irish whisky are bold and embracing while the citrus and the almondy-orangy sweetness of the orgeat freshen the palate. If Scotland had a one-night stand with Hawaii and had a baby, this is what it would resemble.
*Got a cocktail question? Hit me on twitter @paystyle, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply drop me a comment below!
Paystyle was born in Tehran and grew up in Los Angeles (aka Tehrangeles) before moving to Brooklyn with his wife and co-pilot Vanessa Bahmani who provides the stunning photography of Pay's concoctions. Return every Wednesday for his weekly Happy Hour column.