It’s been a while since this blog has been active and with new years and it’s resolutions set, it is time to change that. I stumbled across this great cocktail a couple days ago on liquor.com, and it seems like a great way to get back to crafting cocktails. Afterall, what is more exciting than mixing booze with fire? Especially when it adds a great flavor to your drink!
Set the New Year on Fire
- 2 ounces Scotch
- 1/2 ounce Campari
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce 1:1 demerara simple syrup
- 6 mint leaves
- garnish with a flaming lime
Begin by gently muddling the mint with the fresh lime juice (set the squeezed lime halves aside) and demerara simple syrup. You don’t want to muddle too much, just enough to agitate the mint and get it to release it’s flavor while still leaving the leaves largely intact. This cocktail uses a collins glass, but depending on the dimensions, you may have to muddle your mint in a mixing glass. Once muddling has been completed, add the mixture (mint leaves and all) to the collins glass and pour in 2 ounces of Scotch. Then add a generous portion of crushed ice and float half an ounce of Campari. Top of the glass with a bit more crushed ice. Now comes the fun part. Remember that half a squeezed lime you set aside? It is time to put it to use! Gently place the lime atop the cocktail so that it makes a little bowl. In this bowl, you are going to place a single sugar cube. Gently drip Bacardi 151, or some other high proof rum or alcohol, on to the sugar until it is saturated. Now strike a match and carefully light the garnish on fire! Let it burn for a bit while you admire your creation and the flavors of the burning lime seep down into the drink. Just don’t forget to blow out the garnish before you attempt to sip your cocktail.
The toughest part of making any cocktail that uses scotch as its base is finding a scotch with good flavor and a decent price tag. There are plenty of good scotches on the market these days and even more cheap scotches, but there is very little overlap between these two groups. Scotches can be very subjective in their tastes – when drinking a scotch neat I favor the strong smokey peat of Islays, but many find them to be off-putting and they certainly overpower the flavors of other ingredients in a cocktail. For a mixed scotch drink, you generally want to use something milder, with at most a touch of smoke, like a single malt Speyside. If you want to make it even more affordable, consider using a blended scotch in cocktails. Even young blended scotches can be quite smooth and offer the “scotch” flavor profile at a much lower price. For this cocktail I used a very cheap blended scotch called Black & White. It could be improved upon with a better scotch, but at under $25/handle, it is hard to beat the price tag. Black & White offers that distinct “scotch” profile that you want for a mixing scotch without the grainy aftertaste so many other cheap scotches are accompanied by. Feel free to comment with your favorite affordable scotches and enjoy this pyrotechnic cocktail!
Total cost per drink? ~$1.79