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Underrated classic whisk(e)y cocktails

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As a new poster, I feel compelled to share what little I have to offer with you guys. One of the things I do have to offer is a slowly expanding repertoire of extremely delicious--and fairly unique--whisk(e)y cocktails. I did a search for these drinks already and came up blank, so hopefully one or two of these is something new for you guys to try out.

The first is a scotch version of a Dark and Stormy, and one of my absolute favorite cocktails of all time.

Mamie Taylor

2oz good blended scotch (I generally use Great King Street Artist's Blend or Johnnie Walker Black)

Juice of 1/2 lime (lemon works too, but it's honestly not as good)

4-5oz ginger beer, the spicier the better. Does not need to be alcoholic. The absolute best I have found is Fentimans Ginger Beer. I always use Fentimans. Use Fentimans.

Pour ingredients into a large-ish glass appropriate for cocktails, then top with ice and mix. This drink deserves more attention than it gets. When made with quality ingredients, it becomes something more than the sum of its parts.

Frisco Sour

2oz bourbon

1/2oz grenadine

juice of:

1/2 lime

1/4 lemon

4-5 oz club soda

Pour ingredients into tumbler, fill with ice. Mix and enjoy.

The Frisco Sour reminds me of a Tom Collins, and might be a little too fruity for some. I really like it though.

The Black Rose

2 ounces bourbon. High rye bourbons work really well here, so I'd suggest keeping things consistent with the name of the cocktail and using something from Four Roses.

2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters. Specifically Peychaud's.

1-2 dashes good grenadine. Jack Rudy works really well. I don't care for the founder and owner (we went to school together), but his products are excellent.

Pour into any sort of tumbler or old fashioned glass filled 1/3 to 1/2 with ice. Mix and let sit for a couple minutes, allowing some of the ice to melt into the drink.

So there you have it. Three of my favorite lesser-known whisk(e)y cocktails. I hope you guys enjoy them alongside your more-popular-but-equally-tasty manhattan and old fashioned recipes. Incidentally, I have discovered these mixed drinks serve as a pretty decent gateway into the whiskey universe for non-whiskey drinkers. Especially The Black Rose. Plus the name is pretty enigmatic sounding, thus raising its cool factor.


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Nice options to try. The Mamie Taylor is featured in Ted Haigh's excellent book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. I find it harder to find interesting scotch cocktails.

Both Mamie and the Frisco Sour can be found on his Cocktail Database. It is a good resource for cocktails, both whisk(e)y based and otherwise, as is the book.

It also lists a Black Rose but it is quite different from what you note with a rum base. That can happen with fairly common names!

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The Kentucky Mule (bourbon version of Mamie Taylor) has become a staple in my house. Really enjoy the mix, but with a couple of dashes of Peychaud's - the bitters really add a nice dimension to the drink. When my son comes over it becomes a Mexican Mule and on occasion a Moscow Mule (he's not a bourbon fan). The ginger beer really brings out the best of all those liquors.

I will try the Black Rose - sounds really good. The light additions to the bourbon should really let the bourbon shine. Thanks for the suggestions.

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Oboe Cadobro
The Kentucky Mule (bourbon version of Mamie Taylor) has become a staple in my house.

Interesting...I drink this quite often, but I've always heard it called a "Bourbon Buck" using lemon.

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Interesting...I drink this quite often, but I've always heard it called a "Bourbon Buck" using lemon.

Just recently I have heard it called that also. I kind of like the "mule" name for some reason though. I might try this with lemon for a change, but I really do like it with the lime.

Edited by mhatzung
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