I'm currently enjoying a cocktail discussed by Gary Regan (though created by a bartender in NY) in an old article I found online. The drink utilizes Laphroaig as a mixer, essentially, and I wept at the thought...then I tried it. Typically, I only drink Laphroaig 10yo (or any expression) neat, but this only called for 1/2 oz., so I went for it.
Here's the recipe:
2 oz. vodka (I used Tito's since it's made in-state and cheap - any decent vodka will do - not a fan of high end products in this category myself)
1/2 oz. Laphroaig (Ardbeg should work, other Islays might also, but I'm not sure)
3-4 drops of Pernod, Herbsaint, or other anise liqueur (I went w/ 6 drops, accidentally)
Stirred over ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass
This is really nice. It's a good lead-in for consuming the whisky straight, but moreover, it's a great cocktail. The vodka really doesn't get in the way of the whisky, nor does it water it down, since you're still working w/80-proof liquor. Instead, it allows the myriad flavors to dance on the tongue, and the anise is a terrific foil for the smoke and iodine. A really balanced cocktail.
I didn't use any garnish, as none was mentioned in the recipe. An olive wouldn't work, but a lemon twist might.
Sorry if this is heresy to any Laphroaig fans. It was to me, too, but it's really a great aperitif (or anytime) cocktail. Recommended.