While I've yet to have the funds to find my favorite scotch, Edradour is surprisingly easy to drink and affordable, without too much peaty taste to it. Compass Box's Peat Monster is actually a sharp but smokey scotch, good for mixing (and retails for $45) Copper Fox's whiskey, smoked with applewood instead of peat, is affordable and very tasty. Technically a whisky, not a scotch, it can easily sub in.

Devils Tears

  • 2 parts rye
  • 1 part scotch
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 dash angostura bitters
  • 1 tsp saltwater

Stir together with ice, serve in a lowball. Based on a cocktail at Water and Wall in Virginia

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Blood and Sand

Old Ratio: Equal parts Cherry Heering, blended Scotch, sweet vermouth, and orange juice
New Ratio: 1 part Cherry Heering, 2 parts blended Scotch (such as Chivas), 1 part sweet vermouth, 1⅓ parts orange juice
The Reasoning: Tasted with the traditional ratio, “it’s like there’s no Scotch in it,” says Shapiro. ”It could be anything. It’s like dessert in a glass.” The new version, however, “is still sweet, but you can taste Scotch in it.”


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Hot Toddy

1 part dark spirit (whiskey or brandy)
3 parts boiling water
Honey and lemon to taste
Optionally, add cinnamon or cloves

Also consider: infusing the liquor with apples: (or subbing in Calvados). Take it a step further with mint and absinthe:

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Mint Julep Manhattan

A juleped Manhattan or Old Fashioned

4 parts Mint Julep Makers Mark (or 3 parts bourbon mized with 1 part simple syrup muddled with mint)
2 parts Cognac
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part dry vermouth
Dash Peychaud's bitters

Garnish with a cherry and a sprig of mint.

Mint Julep Manhattan
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Rob Roy

2 ounces blended Scotch whisky (Black Grouse is a nice mid-point)
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish: lemon or orange twist

Stirred over ice, strained into a chilled cocktail glass, garnished with a maraschino cherry or lemon twist, and served straight up in a chilled glass

See also:

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