Friday, 24 January 2014

The boy and his poison: Jimmy's Cranachan

It's Burns Night tomorrow and as a quarter-Scottish semi-professional-lush it would be remiss of me not to mark the occasion with a cocktail that celebrates the pinnacle of Celtic distilling, whisky. There's a bit of a hitch here, I love single malt, and you don't need to adulterate it in cocktails. I'm partial a whisky sour or rusty nail but neither recipe really seemed to do Robbie's Scottishness justice. So I set about trying to create the highlands in a glass.

Borrowing heavily from the the constituent parts of Cranachan, this drink infuses whisky with oats, compliments a gentle ginger heat with the warming taste of lavender honey and then cuts through it all with a little lemon. Think of it as an oaty hot-toddy martini. As this is the first year I don't get to chat haggis with my grandfather, I've decided the cocktail should have his name. Drink it with excellent people this weekend.

You'll need:
  • 75ml oat infused whisky (instructions below)
  • 25ml heather honey
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of grated ginger
For the whisky:
  1. Add a handful of oats to a jar.
  2. Pour the whisky over the oats and seal the jar.
  3. Agitate the jar and leave to infuse for at least 24 hours.
And to make the cocktail:
  1. Strain the whisky using a bar strainer or sieve into a cocktail shaker making sure to press the booze soaked oats to extract all the Scotch.
  2. If your honey is quite stiff, microwave it for a few seconds to loosen it then add it to the whisky along with the lemon juice.
  3. Using a microplane grater, grate about half a teaspoon of ginger into the shaker.
  4. Shake to get the honey mixed, add ice, and then shake again for a few seconds.
  5. Strain into a martini glass.

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