Rule 37: Rob Roy

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.

So, just because I haven’t been posting as frequently, doesn’t mean I haven’t been drinking. It was the holiday season after all. Alas, it’s time to sober up (that’s relative) and return to the daily grind. It seems winter has finally found us, with temperatures in the single digits this morning. Elsa was not pleased about that. Such horrors call for the brown liquors… full-bodied, aged, flavorful, and warming. Brandy. Dark rum. Whiskey and whisky in all its forms: bourbon, Irish, Canadian, rye, wheat, white, corn, and of course, scotch.

Ooooooooh scotch.

I had to do it.

Ok. So now that we’re on scotch, I can tell this story. Several years ago my buddy Trevtastic invited me to an airshow in Rhode Island. His cousin was flying in the show, and offered up some VIP passes. Wait… what? AWESOME. Now, I spent my childhood being dragged to air shows at Pease Air Force Base (renamed with the less-imposing moniker “Pease International Tradeport”). As a child, this means endless miles of hiking on blindingly hot tarmac, eardrum shredding jet flybys, and being forced into pictures with an F-111 in the background because it has swept wings. However, as an adult photographer, it means a day full of stock photo opportunities. The eardrum shredding jet flybys are more fun, but the endless miles of hiking on blindingly hot tarmac never change.

VIP passes make all the difference. Free parking. CLOSE parking (instead of hiking 14 miles from the parking spot to the entrance). Free admission. Free admission to the VIP section of vendors, sponsors, and teams. Free admission to the team’s hospitality trailer and tent. Free food and drinks in said hospitality tent. SHADE in the tent. Proximity to the runway. Having a clear shot at the runway without having to aim through a damn chain link fence.

You get slightly better pictures.

I’ve been ruined. I can never go to an airshow again. I won’t go as one of the common scum, now that I’ve tasted the sweet life.

Trevtastic’s cousin flies for the Canadian Snowbirds, which are an aerial demonstration team. Kind of like the Blue Angels, only friendlier. They fly little Tudor aircraft, which are sort of like go-karts compared to the F-18s flown by the Angels (though the Snowbird pilots fly F-18s in active duty).

That’s the guy. Number 3 slot.

The show was great, since I had a perfect shooting location without fences, flags, poles or other people getting in the way of my shots. After the show, a group of us went out to dinner, and it was there that Trevtastic and his cousin told me of their family scotch drinking game. Basically, when drinking scotch, you have to describe the dram using your best Scottish accent. This naturally gets much better (or worse depending on your point of view) as the game goes on, and more scotch is slugged. The key is to use fancy-sounding phraseology, like that found in professional tasting books or on the back label of the bottle. The example they gave me was “…as it delivers its peaty cargo down your gullet…” which leads quite well into whatever you can come up with. All while talking like Groundskeeper Willie.

So then, this week’s cocktail would be scotch based. The Lady Friend had given me a bottle of Talisker 10yr as an Xmas gift, and this was a good excuse to put it to work. Talisker tastes of smoke, seaweed, salt, and a decent amount of peat. It’s made on the Isle of Skye which helps give it that essence of sea air and salt. Most of my scotches are either Isle of Skye or Highland born. This year saw the final demise of my treasured bottle of Talisker 18yr, which was amazing. Despite hoarding it for several years, I finally drank the last drops of it. It was the one that went into my personal flask, my special occasion tipple. Voted Best Single Malt in the World in 2007. So, I put its little brother to the test in a classic cocktail: the Rob Roy.

The Rob Roy

– 2 1/2 oz scotch (Talisker 10yo)
– 1 oz sweet vermouth
– Dash of Angostura Bitters (used Fee Bros Old Fashioned)

STIR the ingredients. Don’t you dare shake it. Think of it as a scotch Manhattan. Garnish with a marachino cherry or a lemon twist.

Like the Manhattan it can be made dry (dry vermouth) or perfect (half dry, half sweet vermouth). Try it with a dash of orange bitters and a dash of Cointreau instead of Angostura for a Green Briar. It’s a tasty classic, invented in 1894 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York. Its namesake is the Scottish outlaw Rob Roy (did anyone ever see that Liam Neeson film about him? Anyone? Beuller?).

The taste? Well, as it delivers its peaty cargo down your gullet, it stokes a small fire whose warmth spreads from your teats to your toes. Hoot, lad.
Go have one. It’s a tasty winter warmer.

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