Sometimes a cocktail recipe is so intriguing you can’t help but run out to buy the necessary ingredients so you can mix one up. Sometimes a cocktail recipe is so bizarre you’re frightened to even put the ingredients together in a tin in case the extraordinary mixture results in some horrifying science-fiction-esque accident might occur. The Laphroaig Project is both of these.
They say Scotch isn’t really a spirit for mixing… that it is best enjoyed in a glass on its own with perhaps a drop of water or an ice cube at a push. The Laphroaig Project turns this conviction on its head, choosing to mix one of the most intense, smoky Scotches – Laphroaig – with not one but two varieties of Chartreuse, one of the most intense and powerful liqueurs, as well as maraschino and lemon juice. I suppose on paper it bears something of a resemblance to the Last Word, and as with that drink you really can’t imagine the flavours working together. Until you take a sip of the finished drink that is.
The Laphroaig Project
- 1 shot / 30 ml / 1 oz Green Chartreuse
- 1 shot / 30 ml / 1 oz lemon juice
- ½ shot / 15 ml / ½ oz Laphroaig Quarter Cask
- ½ shot / 15 ml / ½ oz maraschino
- ¼ shot / 7.5 ml / ¼ oz Yellow Chartreuse
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers Peach Bitters
- Shake all ingredients with ice and strain in to an ice-filled old-fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon zest twist.
Created by Owen Westman of Bourbon & Branch The Laphroaig Project first came to my attention on the B&B blog, and then later at Alcademics where Camper declared anyone that can make one without having to shop for ingredients cool. Sadly I didn’t have any Laphroaig Quarter Cask so failed the test, but while I may not be cool I am a shopaholic so soon found myself purchasing a bottle.
The heavy smokiness of the Laphroaig is perfectly tempered by the Chartreuse in the drink, meaning you initially get a herbal Chartreuse and lemon mix, which is then slowly overtaken by the vibrant peatiness of the Whisky. Like it’s vague relative the Last Word it has a remarkable balance, with three incredibly robust spirits all used in decent quantities yet remaining in perfect equilibrium. Bright and refreshing, yet complex and rugged – Scotch may not have many cocktail recipes, but damn it has some good ones…
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