The No Thanks – Scottish Referendum

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“Hey, wait a minute,” you might say, “wasn’t the whole point of this blog that you would craft cocktails around current events and news stories? Why haven’t you actually done that at all yet?” Fair point, dear reader. But now things are changing! It’s a news story, that’s happening right now, and now I have a cocktail! Hurray!

As you may know, tomorrow (the 18th) is the date of a potentially historic vote that’s going to be taking place in Scotland. They’re deciding whether or not to remain as part of the United Kingdom, or split off into their own country. This of course has all sorts of geo-political ramifications, from currency exchange to energy rights and so on. Last time I checked, the poll was at 51% for independence and 49% to stay together. So we’ll see what happens!

In the meantime, I’ve made a cocktail. Now, I don’t know where I stand on the actual issue, but in terms of ingredients, Scottish and English are better together. To that end, I’ve made a quick and simple cocktail with scotch (what else can you pick?) to represent Scotland, and Earl Grey tea (which is apparently named after a British prime minister) to represent England. The campaign slogan for sticking together is apparently “No Thanks,” hence the name of the cocktail. Here it is!

No Thanks Ingredients

The No Thanks

    • 2 oz single malt scotch (I picked the Balvenie Doublewood because a) it’s good and b) it’s smoky but not too much so)
    • 1.25 oz Earl Grey simple syrup (I used this recipe though it makes a very large amount)
    • 1 oz lemon

Easy enough preparation: mix together, serve with a big ice cube in a rocks glass. (But see the notes below…)

No Thanks Hero

Tasting Notes:

BN: I really liked this. My only issue was that the Earl Grey flavor didn’t quite come through as much as I wanted in the actual drink. The syrup was very flavored, but I couldn’t put any more in the cocktail without making it too sweet. Perhaps a blended scotch might overpower the light tea flavor a little bit less. The lemon was good to add a little acidity and balance to the palate (don’t I sound fancy). I think the syrup also had a tendency to sink to the bottom, despite a lot of stirring. Perhaps a shaken preparation might work better, if you’re allowed to do that with scotch.

PiC: I don’t normally like scotch, and I actually like this! Well done!

So we’ll see what happens with the vote. Whatever side you’re on, pour yourself a nice big glass of scotch when you watch the results!

No Thanks Composed

The Summer Sun – Heat Wave

Sometimes, I am thankful that I live in Southern California. You would think that most of those times would be in the winter, but no! I’m much happier here in the summer than I was on the East Coast, because it gets really hot and humid really easily. So, in honor of the recent heat wave I didn’t have to deal with, I give to you The Summer Sun.

I was recently in a soda shop searching for ingredients for another, upcoming drink, and I happened across a bottle of sweet corn flavored soda. And I figured, well, why not? (This was after deciding not to buy the buffalo sauce or ranch dressing flavored drinks…) After a few sips, I quickly decided that it was so sweet and so corny that I needed to cut it with something. I looked around, and what did I find? Whiskey! Hurray for whiskey!

The following drink is what came out of it. You’ve got corn for the summer, and chili for the heat. Now, I don’t expect anyone really to be able to make this, since sweet corn soda is probably pretty rare, but it was a nice departure from the usual. Good luck, East Coast! Chill out.

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The Summer Sun

  • 2.5 oz bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark; the soda is so strong though that you shouldn’t waste a good whiskey on this drink.)
  • ~8 oz sweet corn soda (I got mine at a place called Rocket Fizz, which is a chain at least in LA, maybe nationwide?)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ~6 shakes cayenne

Another easy one. Pour the whiskey over ice into a rocks glass, put in the lime, fill up the rest of the glass with soda, and add the cayenne. Depending on your soda, the proportions could vary widely (I put a lot of the lime and chili in because the soda’s flavor was so overbearing.) So, to taste!

The Summer Sun

Tasting Notes:

BN: I enjoyed this a lot more than the soda on its own. The corn and the whiskey blended incredibly well together, the sweetness getting toned down and gaining depth. It was a very refreshing drink for the summer (even without a heat wave). The most interesting thing I learned while making it was that if you shake spices onto an ice cube, they stick — a technique I’ll be experimenting with later on, because it could lead to some interesting things…

Partner in Crime: I don’t really like whiskey or that soda, but together it actually worked pretty well!