When it comes to the changing of season (even though it’s still sunny and warm here, the “curse” of California), I tend to start thinking of drinks that involve more brown boozes than ones with clear ones. Does that mean I’ll pass up a Margarita? Never. However, it does mean I start pondering the nuance of things like peat. Turns out peat doesn’t just come in Scotch form anymore, no sir. Now there’s gin finished in peated barrels. That means, why yes, I could have my brown liquor inspired cocktail, but with a clear booze! Enter the Peated Emerald.
One evening, a few moons ago, my friend Bobby and I were sampling his father’s rather extensive Scotch collection. It’s pretty great having friends who have fathers who collect fancy drinks and then let you sample them (Alice and I often get to try exquisite wines over there too). The Scotch that really stood out for sheer brashness? The peated one.
There was something about that funky, peat flavor. It really is one of those if you’ve never tried it, you’ll never know kinda deals.
That evening what peat can do to an alcohol made quite an impression on me. Now, every time it gets a little cooler (or it’s supposed to), I start pondering what I can do with some peated Scotch.
However, I still love a Martini every Friday night (this is a judgement free zone, it’s a Friday night tradition and you can’t argue with tradition). What I needed was a way to combine the two together in perfect harmony.
My mind wandered to the Rob Roy, which is a great cocktail by itself, even if it’s a riff on the Manhattan. Great things come from experimentation and build on other great things. Hence, if both the Manhattan and Rob Roy start with a bold base (rye and Scotch, respectively), I knew that I could start a cocktail with something peated.
Here’s the kicker: our friends over at Captive Spirits Distilling (makers of Big Gin and Bourbon Barreled Big Gin), recently launched a — you guessed it — Peated Big Gin and they sent it to us to try.
Now that’s a base I can believe in! So, I started with the peated gin, then tried out some sweet vermouth — but not rouge, I didn’t want to erase that lovely hue the gin had. I went with a blanc vermouth, which still has a touch of light sweetness.
Then it was just about adjusting, tweaking and adding some bitters.
Just like that, the next riff on the Manhattan!
Without further ado, let’s get down to business and make the Peated Emerald!
- 3 oz. peated gin
- 1½ oz. sweet vermouth (blanc)
- 2 dashes bitters
- Lemon rind
- Glass type: coupe
- Add peated gin, vermouth and bitters to your stirring glass with ice.
- That's why you used a stirring glass, der.
- Don't shake it.
- Be kind to your only booze cocktails.
- Smile knowing you're doing good by the cocktail overlords.
- Pour into your coupe.
- Garnish with lemon.
- Toast to the Emerald City.
- Enjoy the mighty fine cocktail.