Serious Eats: Recipes

Time for a Drink: the Chancellor Cocktail

[Photograph: Paul Clarke]

As I mentioned in yesterday's column, scotch whisky is the bully in the sandbox when it comes to playing well with other ingredients in a cocktail. Blame it on the barley, or the smoke, or the pot-still oiliness—whatever the reason, scotch is just too individualistic of a spirit to want to share the spotlight in mixed drinks.

There are exceptions, of course, and here's one: the Chancellor.

As cocktail historian David Wondrich notes in Esquire Drinks, where I first came across this drink, the Chancellor is a close relative of another scotch cocktail, the Rob Roy, with a couple of interesting twists. In place of the Rob Roy's bittersweet tang from Italian vermouth, the Chancellor relies on the robust richness of port, its gentle sweetness tempered by a little dry vermouth.

Unusual? Certainly, but when mixing with such a sometimes surly spirit as scotch, you have to be willing to accept a few eccentricities.

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