The Laphroaig Project

August 19th, 2009

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.

Ephemeral cocktail

The Laphroaig Project

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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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Posted in Chartreuse, Lemon, Maraschino, Peach Bitters, Recipes, Scotch

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9 responses to “The Laphroaig Project”

  1. Kim P. Kim P. says:

    This sounds so very intriguing! I love Scotch, but I’m also of the opinion that it works well in mixed drinks. Perhaps that’s because one of my all time favorites is Blood & Sand. I’ll be heading to Bourbon & Branch in a couple of weeks, and I hope this will be available. That is, if I don’t become impatient and end up making it for myself in the next couple of days.

  2. Aaron Aaron says:

    Sounds amazing! Sadly I have none of Chartreuses or the Laphroaig QC in the home, but I do dearly love a great Islay cocktail. If you liked the Morning Glory Fizz, give it a shot with some Islay thrown in; here is a recipe, inspired by my local watering hole Der Raum’s “Islay Morning fizz”

    30mL Blended Scotch
    15mL Laphroaig (I used the 10yo)
    5mL Absinthe or pastis (I used Ricard)
    22.5mL Lemon juice
    22.5mL Egg white
    2tsp (10mL) sugar
    3-4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

    Mime shake lemon, sugar and egg white to combine, add everything else, mime shake, shake, strain, top with ~1oz soda.

  3. Tiare Tiare says:

    Very interesting, sadly i lack the Laphroaig and yellow Chartreuse.

    I love Peychauds! can bathe in it.


  4. C E Benz C E Benz says:

    So, how does Laphroaig compare with Lagavulin? And how do you pronounce it anyways?

  5. Aaron Aaron says:

    Laphroaig is pronouced la-froyg, but I’m not sure how it compares with Lagavulin; never tasted them side by side.

  6. Jay Jay says:

    Both Lagavulin and Laphroaig are both produced on Islay, and use peated malt which produces a very smoky whisky. Therefore I would imagine they are broadly similar. I’ve not tried them side by side however, and as this drink works by very finely balancing the Laphroaig I’d try to get hold of some quarter-cask if you can.

  7. The decline and fall of the American Empire « Foseti says:

    [...] It has come to my attention that people are making cocktails out of scotch – good scotch! [...]

  8. WhiskeySean WhiskeySean says:

    Peat Monster works wonderfully.

  9. bex bex says:

    Laphroaig is *significantly* more peaty than Lagavulin. I consider myself a scotch snob, and put Lagavulin in my top 10, but I rarely drink Laphroaig.

    I did have this cocktail at The Rickhouse in San Francisco, where I believe it was invented. I enjoyed it very much. I think you could use Lagavulin instead, but it would probably be more bland… The peaty-ness of Laphroaig really balances the flavors out.

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