Why a Presbyterian? I can't say for sure. Perhaps it's a reference to the nationality of the base spirit, and a nod to the Church of Scotland. Then again, the wholesome appearance of this drink makes it suitable for covert imbibing at church picnics; for all anybody knows, you're relaxing in the shade with a tall glass of iced tea.
Whatever the provenance of its name, the Presbyterian is pretty much made to be enjoyed outdoors, preferably with a picnic blanket in sight and with a few blue puffs of smoke blowing off the barbecue. Incredibly easy to prepare, the Presbyterian also lends itself to the pitcher treatment: simply do a little math before the guests arrive, and pour everything together as everyone's starting to mill around the backyard (or deck, or fire escape, as the case may be). Then settle back with a plate of potato salad and whatever's smoky and sizzling, and watch the sun go down on a long holiday weekend. Just remember to plan more days like this in the summer to come.
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.
- 2 ounces blended scotch whisky
- Chilled ginger ale
- Chilled club soda*
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add scotch, and fill with equal parts ginger ale and club soda.