Tipperary Cocktail (No. 1)

Tipperary Cocktail (No. 1)
1/3 Italian Vermouth. (1/2 oz Carpano Antica)
1/3 Green Chartreuse. (1/2 oz Green Chartreuse)
1/3 Irish Whisky. (1 oz Bushmill’s 10 Year Single Malt, 1/4 oz Gordon & MacPhail Highland Park 8 Year)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

The other day I was picking up some supplies at Cask Store, chatting with my favorite Amandas, when another customer picked up the business card from Cask’s sister bar Rickhouse.  On the back of the card is the recipe for Owen Westman’s cocktail The Laphroig Project.

The Laphroaig Project:
1oz Green Chartreuse
.5oz Laphroaig Quarter Cask
.5oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
.25oz Yellow Chartreuse
1oz Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Fee Peach Btters

Combine all ingredients into mixing tin and shake vigorously. Double-strain over fresh ice in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy.

The customer’s jaw dropped, “What? They are using Single Malt Scotch in a Cocktail!? That is just so wrong!!!”

As if the only proper use for an Islay Malt is to pour it reverently into a glass, with maybe a bit of water freshly dipped from a stream in Scotland, and savor it on its own.

While I do believe there is often a point of diminishing returns with using excessively expensive products in Cocktails, using a half an ounce of Laphroig in a cocktail isn’t going to cause the world to end.  No Scotsmen were harmed in the production of the Laphroaig Project.

When I got to the Tipperary Cocktail, I had a couple problems.

Like the recipes for the Opera, The Widow’s Kiss, and the Jewel, equal parts of booze, vermouth, and liqueur is just a bit too rich for me.  I needed to dry this out a bit, and allow the whiskey to shine, before I could start to enjoy it.

My other problem was I am supremely unimpressed with most Irish Whiskey in mixed drinks, especially this one, Bushmill’s Single Malt 10 Year.  As far as I can tell, you might as well be adding vaguely malt flavored water, for all it contributes to most mixed drinks.  Clearly it is not a “mixing whiskey”.

Thinking about what to use to “punch up” the Bushmill’s, I cast my gaze about the basement booze supply. American Whiskey? I think they would over shadow whatever pale character existed in the Irish. Other spirits? Again, hard to think of something that would get along and not run it over. What about Scotch? Hm, there is even a Peated Irish Whiskey, maybe Scotch wouldn’t be too much of a stretch…

So let’s fix it, and piss off some Scotch Whiskey Nerds at the same time.

But what Scotch? It would have to be something not too crazy and over the top in it’s Peaty Smokiness.

How about Highland Scotch? It tends towards the characters I like in Single Malt Scotch, without overwhelming with extremes of Peat and Smoke. Honing in further, I really like Highland Park‘s Whiskies, which are technically from Orkney. (I’ll make a Tipperary for anyone who can identify the source of following quote without resorting to google, “Snow storms forecast imminently in areas Dogger, Viking, Moray, Forth, and Orkney.”) Normally, I keep the Highland Park 12 Year Old around the house, but this Gordon and MacPhail Highland Park 8 Year is a new favorite. Introduced to me by David Driscoll, the Spirits buyer at K&L Wines, there is a lot of the same character you find in the 12, but it has a little bit more youthful punch. It is also a fantastic deal for the money.

Second, I decided, instead of an equal parts cocktail, we’d make it a 2-1-1 version.  That isn’t far from some of my favorite Manhattan Variations, so it seemed a safe bet.

And damn, if that isn’t tasty!  Hit this one exactly in my aromatic cocktail sweet spot.  Lightening the Vermouth and Liqueur changes this from an after dinner candy, to a digestiv.  The added interest of the Scotch brings both whiskies to life.

Give it a try with the Highland Park, or another Scotch Whisky, and let me know what you think.  Don’t be afraid to piss off some Scotsmen or the Irish.  Though we might have to call it “Tipperary Cocktail (No. 3)”.

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.

25 thoughts on “Tipperary Cocktail (No. 1)

  1. Hi Erik, thanks for the post!
    I’m deeply impressed with Tipperary Cocktail recipe. Going to make it soon!
    One question: what do you think about Auchentoshan single malt as substitute for Irish here?

    • Cool, Alex, thanks for the comment! I’ve actually made this puppy to fairly good response with Famous Grouse and Ardbeg 10. So play around and let me know what you find, as long as your wife/lover/partner doesn’t complain about the credit card bill for the single malts…

  2. Ha, I see what you meant yesterday now. It’s certainly my view that if I paid the sixty bucks for the scotch I’ve got the right to consume it in any way that pleases me. That said, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to use an Islay in a cocktail; I’ve always felt those whiskies seemed rather distinctly unlikely to “play well with others.”

    As to this specific drink, I get the logic of adding the scotch, but even something like Red Breast isn’t robust enough on its own? I always thought RB kind of tasted like scotch anyway, at least as compared to something like Jameson or Bushmills (though admittedly I don’t think I’ve had the Bushmills single malt).

    • I do like Red Breast a lot, just unfortunately don’t have any in the house at the moment, and need to get through this bottle of Bushmills. Maybe I should be making Irish Coffees more often.

  3. Oh, I forgot to add, I’m thinking of making the Laphroaig Project with Ardbeg Corryvreckan, as that’s the only Islay scotch I currently have in the house. How angry will that make the Scotch Whisky Nerds?

    • I actually looked it up, and then I was disappointed that I didn’t get it. It’s from the Wire song “Mercy” off their album Chairs Missing. I’ve listened to Pink Flag a whole bunch, but the second album I’ve only heard in bits, and I didn’t recollect that song. I was so peeved with myself I bought the album off amazon today. I will never be undone by a lack of knowledge of that particular piece of late 70s punk rock history again!

  4. My latest invention (though not my latest posted), the Judge Walker, combined rye and blended Scotch and I’ve been very pleased with how well it’s been received by folks who do not normally drink whiskey of any ilk, let alone Scotch. Something about softening the blow with those other flavors allows even people who usually fear the brown to be delighted by the complexity.

  5. My Tipperary Cocktail tonight:
    20 ml Cinzano Rosso
    15 ml Green Chartreuse
    30 ml Auchentoshan Classic (low-cost Lowland single malt scotch, my wife approved this)
    1 tsp (6 ml) Laphroaig 10yo

    Awesome stuff! Thanks for this delicios cocktail, Erik!
    Chartreuse and Laphroaig combine in unique flavour, and pair of Cinzano and Auchentoshan is on the level.
    Usually I like cocktails based on Scotch single malts, and this time I’m very pleased.
    I love it, really!

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  7. Timely post … had one of these out this past weekend at the kind of place that I love stumbling across … it’s a great (tiny) “sports” bar that serves amazing high end food and presents a fantastic roster of cocktails and their version also used Bushmills; i think the bar made it with the equal proportions recipe as it was a bit too chartreuse forward for my taste and squashed the taste of everything else. will give this one another go at home using the above formulation and a nice punch of Scotch.

    As always, another great post Erik.

    • Nowhere in particular, I just look at random antique stores whenever I get the chance.

      A friend from New York gave me this particular glass when I was visiting.

  8. Interestingly, more or less the functional equivalent of the Tipperary Cocktail No. 1 is being made in NYC these days under the name the “Greenpoint.” The proportions are a little off, and the Greenpoint has rye instead of Irish, but otherwise, it seems to be the same cocktail.

    • Indeed, I love the Greenpoint, and based my proportions on those Brooklyn-esque cocktails. Though, technically, the Greenpoint should be made with Yellow Chartreuse, not Green, and some orange and angostura bitters. But definitely a close relation!

  9. Nice recipe, tonight i was hankering for a digestiv with whisky and green chartreuse and was luckily able to find this i had tagged in my google reader. Really hit the spot, thanks. I used carpano, tyrconnell, and laphroaig 10 to great effect.

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  13. I’m moving soon so trying to slim down the ol’ liquor cabinet. I made this with a Chivas Regal 12yr that someone gave as a gift and it turned out great. Will definitely add it to the rotation. Thanks for the recco.

  14. I’ve been ordering variants of the Green point recently, thinking that a bit of smoke would go well. Subbing mezcal makes for a little too much grass, so I thought maybe a milder Islay like Lagavulin. Nice to see I’m not alone with this idea!

    (ps, where are you at these days, Erik? I miss the late night chats at Heaven’s Dog :)

    • Hi Paul!

      Scotch in a Greenpoint, interesting!

      I’ll have to give it a try.

      Since Heaven’s Dog closed, I’ve just mostly been doing the part time thing at UCSF. Taking the odd gig either with the Slanted Door catering or Rye on the Road to make up the difference.

      On the plus side, the Slanted Door Group is very close to reopening the space in the bottom floor of the SOMA Grand. Should be within a month or two.

      It’s going to be a cool menu, and speaking of Scotch, I think that is where our whiskey concentration is going to be.

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