I don't know who Cameron was, or why he might want to be kicking. But I do know that this unlikely union of ingredients makes one of the most startlingly appealing drinks in the bartender's vintage-cocktail arsenal.
Scotch whisky is a notoriously difficult ingredient to use in cocktails; Irish whiskey isn't much better. Introduce them into the same glass, though, with some lemon juice for brightness and the ethereal character of orgeat for sweetness, and they get along as nice as can be. This cocktail dates back to at least 1930; that's when it crops up in a slim book called Cocktails, by "Jimmy" late of Ciro's (it also appears in the Savoy Cocktail Book at about the same time). It's too unlikely a bird to ever have enjoyed widespread fame; but its idiosyncrasies are the very things that make it so appealing.
Save your single malts for sipping; a blended scotch like Famous Grouse works best when mixing. Orgeat is simply almond syrup with a little orange flower water tossed in for ghostly aromatic effect; Monin and Torani both make acceptable versions, though if you come across the Giffard brand from France, grab an extra bottle for me.
Kick one up for Cameron this weekend. It's too fascinating a drink to let pass by.
About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.
- 1 ounce blended Scotch whisky
- 1 ounce Irish whiskey
- 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce orgeat
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker; fill with ice and shake well for 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.