A few months ago, I bought a bottle of Glenmorangie Scotch. I generally shy away from anything stronger than beer, but I had to experience this fabled drink that has such a prominent role in the lives of my most beloved characters. In the Outlander series, it seems that everyone is always drinking Scottish whisky, good times or bad. Jamie is an expert at making the stuff and Roger was in awe of Claire’s ability to knock it back. Basically, I wanted to know if I could hang with Jamie and Claire.
I started out by pouring it over ice and mixing it with some water. I was surprised at how quickly it grew on me. My husband told his co-workers at lunch one day that he couldn’t get used to the sight of me sitting around sipping on a glass of scotch. They all apparently got a huge laugh out of the idea and joked about me wearing a smoking jacket, sitting by a fire with the hounds at my feet and a shotgun propped against the wall, sipping on my whisky. I’m glad I could be such a source of amusement for the boys at work, but that’s definitely not an accurate depiction. Anyhoo, one of the guys loaned me his copy of The Bartender’s Bible (by Gary Regan) to give me some ideas for mixed drinks.
I flipped immediately to the chapter about Scotch and found myself in an Outlander fangirl’s dream! Names like Whiskey Mac, Black Jack (Randall?), Highland Fling, Macbeth, Ma Bonnie Wee Hen, To Hell with Swords and Garters, and Tartan Swizzle (I could go on, my friends) just scream Jamie Fraser! And when I branched out to include other liquors, I found drinks such as Big Red, Dragonfly (in Amber?), Dunbonnet Fizz, and Gale at Sea (Voyager anyone?). I was so excited to try them out, so I decided to have “Scottish Night” at my place.
I wanted to make an authentic Scottish meal to go with our alcoholic explorations, so I settled on “Rumblethumps” (I got the recipe from Scotland for the Senses– you should check it out, it’s a beautiful site all about Scotland) and bannocks (a.k.a. oatcakes). The Rumblethumps – which is basically just a mixture of cabbage, potatoes, and onions – were DELICIOUS! So cheap, so easy, and so good. My husband even asked if we could have it again sometime this week.
The bannocks, however, didn’t turn out so well. The recipe called for bacon fat, but since everyone at my house was a vegetarian, I opted for butter instead and I think that may have been the problem.
We pooled our resources and worked with what we had without spending a lot of money. We tried a Black Jack (Randall), Mithering Bastard, and Piper at the Gates of Dawn; all of which were actually really good. The Mithering Bastard was the unanimous favorite.
I’ll list a few recipes here to get you started…
Highland Fling (We’d all like to have one of these, eh? *wink, wink*)
- 2 ounces Scotch
- 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 1 maraschino cherry
Combine first three ingredients in a mixing glass half-filled with ice cubes, strain into glass and garnish with cherry.
- 2 1/2 ounces Scotch
- Crushed ice
- lemon twist
Pour into a shaker half-filled with ice, shake well, garnish with lemon twist.
- 1 1/2 ounces Scotch
- 1 ounce green ginger wine
Pour both ingredients into a wine goblet with no ice.
Black Jack (Randall– I can’t not say Randall…)
- 1 1/2 ounces Scotch
- 1 ounce Kahlua
- 1/2 ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, shake well, pour into cocktail glass.
I had so much fun with this! Party season is approaching, so why not throw a Scottish party?! I’ve already decided that my next spirits endeavor will be with Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, when I will make a toast to Stephen Bonnett. Plus, Jameson’s has my favorite commercial of all time :)
Happy imbibing, fellow fangirls!!