Scoff-law Cocktail


Scoff-Law Cocktail.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (1 Dash Regan’s Orange Bitters)
1/3 Canadian Club Whisky. (3/4 oz 40 Creek Three Grains)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)
1/6 lemon Juice. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
1/6 Grenadine. (1/2 of 3/4 oz Small Hand Foods Grenadine)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

For what it is worth, Harry McElhone’s Barflies and Cocktails calls for Rye, instead of the Savoy “Canadian Club”.  Even though, in deference to Mr. Craddock, I went with Canadian Whisky, generally, I agree with Mr. McElhone in these matters.

While researching the Scoff-Law, I turned up the following from the Chicago Tribune, January 27th, 1924: “Hardly has Boston added to the Gaiety of Nations by adding to Webster’s Dictionary the opprobrious term of “scoff-law” to indicate the chap who indicts the bootlegger, when Paris comes back with a “wet answer”—Jock, the genial bartender of Harry’s New York Bar, yesterday invented the Scoff-law Cocktail, and it has already become exceedingly popular among American prohibition dodgers.”

Made to the Savoy recipe, this is a pleasant, light, tart, easy drinking libation.  Many modern sources bump up the booze a bit more and often leave out the orange bitters.  I kind of like it the way it is, with the sweet/tart balance not dissimilar to a red wine.


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.

5 thoughts on “Scoff-law Cocktail

    • From what I’ve read, the mash bill of most modern Canadian Whisky is more similar to Straight Bourbon than to Straight Rye. Of course then, they have the habit of blending the flavoring spirit with a more highly distilled grain spirit.

      • According to the BAR BarSmarts curriculum, at least half of what goes into a Canadian blend must by law be neutral grain spirit. In most bottlings you can assume the percentage is greater than half. The predominant grain will be corn but it it’s coming off the still at really high proof, not much character will be left.

        Canadian whisky can also legally contain some amount of “other flavorings” — one supposes to make up for the lack of character in the neutral grain spirit. Things like caramel and fruit juice are common. You can even add bourbon!

        Can’t comment on the 40 Creek, however one source on the web (FWIW) says it may be the ONLY Canadian which doesn’t use additives.


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