Robin Wood

I was recently perusing Camper English‘s article on Scotch in the most recent issue of Imbibe Magazine, when I ran across an appealing sounding cocktail:

Robin Wood

2 oz Auchentoshan 10 Year
1/2 oz Madeira
1/2 oz Aperol
1 tsp Grand Marnier
3 drops Orange bitters

Stir with ice to chill, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist and raisins.
Created by Humberto Marques for Oloroso bar in Edinburgh.

Scotch cocktails, aside from the Rob Roy, Blood and Sand, Bobby Burns, and Affinity are pretty rare, but this one sounded right up my alley, so…

Robin Wood

2 oz Highland Park 12
1/2 oz Justino’s Rainwater Madeira
1/2 oz Aperol
1 tsp. Grand Marnier
3 drops Angostura Orange Bitters

Stir, strain, Meyer Lemon Zest, Port Plumped Cherry.

I don’t have a bottle of Auchentoshan, which is a Lowland Scotch, and am not entirely sure that substituting Highland Park, which is an Orkney Scotch, is a great choice. But I’m not about to run out and buy another bottle of Single Malt Scotch just to experiment with this cocktail.

They didn’t say what sort of Madeira to use, but the Justino’s Rainwater Madeira seemed appealing.

Aperol is an Italian bitter aperitif (or Amaro) similar to Campari. It’s a bit sweeter, milder, and more orangey than Campari. Some people describe it as a “gateway” Amaro.

Along with Cointreau, Grand Marnier is one of the grand old French Orange liqueurs. Because the orange perfume is blended with Cognac, it is often thought to be a more elegant spirit than the sharp, single noted orange of Cointreau. To my mind, they both have their places in the mixologists arsenal. Some suggest that Grand Marnier is the best choice when confronted with the term “Curacao”, especially in 19th Century cocktail recipes.

The Angostura Orange Bitters are only recently available in the US, and are a very fine choice.

I had meyer lemons around the house for something I was making for dinner, so they seemed like an interesting choice for the zest. Indeed, their piney funk combined intriguingly with the peaty flavors of the Highland Park Scotch.

I was making a Port and Cherry sauce for some duck breasts. I had combined about a dozen dried bing cherries with a cup of Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Port, a half cup of Cherry Heering, a half cup of Lustau Brandy, and a quarter cup of sugar. Reduced it by half. The sauce and cherries were hanging out on the stove waiting for the duck to be done. The cherries turned out to be pretty darn delicious, so in one went instead of the raisins. They were actually tasty enough, I might have to use them as house cherries going forward!

Also picked up these nice Fostoria glasses on our recent trip to Arizona. I’d really liked this pattern when Neyah brought out some similar glasses making Savoy Cocktails at NOPA, so I was particularly pleased to run across a few stems at an Antique store in Scottsdale.

This is a very nice cocktail! I think a slightly milder scotch combined with a more assertive Madeira might kick it up just a notch, but I liked it just fine as it is.

I.B.F. Pick-Me-Up Cocktail

Note: I’m gonna run this one before the Hurricane, as it is a just about perfect New Year’s Day Cocktail.

I.B.F. Pick-Me-Up Cocktail

I.B.F. Pick-Me-Up Cocktail

In a wineglass place one lump of Ice, 3 dashes of Fernet Branca (1 tsp. Fernet), 3 dashes of Curacao (1 tsp. Luxardo Triplum), one liqueur glass of Brandy (1 1/2 oz Cerbois VSOP Armangac), fill remainder with Champagne (Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut). Stir and squeeze lemon peel on cocktail glass.

According to their Blog (!) the…

International Bar Fly (IBF) was founded in 1924 by O. O. McIntyre at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France. Our members, known as International Bar Flies, have included Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, George Gershwin, Sinclair Lewis, Franklin Roosevelt, Gene Kelly, Noel Coward, Burt Lancaster, Thornton Wilder, Marlene Dietrich, Michele Morgan, Elsa Maxwell, and many more. The organization is devoted to the uplift and downfall of serious drinkers. New members are welcome.

This is a fine, fine cocktail and, apropos of New Year’s Day, a proper restorative for the drinker who may have imbibed a bit too seriously the night before. Depending on your feelings about Fernet, the I.B.F. may or may not benefit from a slightly generous hand with the teaspoon of that substance. I kind of thought it needed a little more…

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.