Bobby Burns Cocktail

Bobby Burns Cocktail.*

1/2 Italian Vermouth (1 1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
1/2 Scotch Whisky (1 1/2 oz Compass Box Asyla)
3 Dashes Benedictine (Barspoon Benedictine)

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

*One of the very best Whisky Cocktails. A very fast mover on Saint Andrews Day.

I am inclined to agree with the authors of The Savoy. Boy, I enjoyed this cocktail. The complexity of the Bitter Vermouth, the briny Scotch, and the slight sweet herbaceousness of the Benedictine, all highlighted with the brightness of the lemon zest. Just about everything I like in a brown liquor cocktail in a single glass. It really doesn’t get much better than this.

I always make this cocktail in celebration of Burns Night, a fine tradition celebrating the life and works of Scottish Poet, Robert Burns. I first learned about Burns Night a few years ago while listening to the radio shows of the late John Peel.

From Burns’ Poem “A Bottle and Friend”:

Here’s a bottle and an honest friend!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o’care, man?

Then catch the moments as they fly,
and use them as ye ought, man.
Believe me, happiness is shy,
and comes not aye when sought, man.

Now I’m not sure if this cocktail, or the similar “Robert Burns Cockail”, were actually named after the poet in question. And Burns probably would disapprove of sullying Scotch with water and other questionable materials. Still, on Burns night, we put on Camera Obscura’s album of Burns’ Poetry and raise a glass to the memories of John Peel and Robert Burns.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.