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The Glasgow Ginger: A Smoky Scotch Ginger Cocktail

Last month’s Bon Appetit came with a little present for me—no, not a subscription card to Gourmet; that came with the magazine’s final November issue, to add insult to injury.

Instead, inside was a cocktail recipe composed of my favorite components.

Scotch, lemon juice, and elderflower liqueur combined to make something called the Highland’s Fall, and it was so enticing, it only took me six weeks to mix it up. (I have a bit of a recipe backlog going on.)

The Glasgow Ginger, a sweet ginger, Scotch, and lemon cocktail - via www.www.goodfoodstories.com
Photo: Casey Barber

Surprisingly, I found the mix too harshly citric—and this coming from me, the most devout of the lemon lovers—but happily, I was simultaneously drinking a ginger beer while self-bartending.

So I cut the twang with a little of my beloved carbonated beverage.

The warmth of the ginger softened the citrus tones while blending with the smoky undertones of the Scotch and the delicacy of the elderflower.

This Scotch ginger cocktail is definitely not as mannish as having a finger of whisky while you hunch over the bar and mumble about the underrated genius of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, but it’s still quite appropriate for a pre-dinner toast by a roaring fireplace.

I’m renaming it the Glasgow Ginger in honor of its new ingredients.

The Glasgow Ginger, a sweet ginger, Scotch, and lemon cocktail - via www.www.goodfoodstories.com
Photo: Casey Barber

And should you be visiting Scotland any time soon, remember that the Scots do love walking as their preferred mode of transportation.

A wee tipple can help ease the pain of huffing up a steep hill after a day of sightseeing.

In fact, it’s so effective that when I visited my sister, who studied in Glasgow, we started referring to our nightly cocktails as “the Scotch scooter” for making the long walk back to her apartment feel incredibly short and speedy.

Whether you take your Scotch ginger for a stroll outside to the backyard fire pit or just stroll to your couch, the warming effect will be the same. Cheers!

The Glasgow Ginger, a sweet ginger, Scotch, and lemon cocktail - via www.www.goodfoodstories.com

The Glasgow Ginger (A Smoky Scotch Ginger Cocktail)

Yield: 2 drinks
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This Scotch ginger cocktail features two warm tastes that pair well for a smoky drink. We call it the Glasgow Ginger and drink it by a fire.

Ingredients

  • 2 drops of your finest Islay single malt (I am a Lagavulin/Laphroaig girl myself)
  • 1/2 cup blended Scotch
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 1 12-ounce bottle ginger beer, chilled

Instructions

  1. Pour just a drop of the smoky Islay Scotch into each of two cool retro coupe glasses and swirl it around to "rinse" the glasses. Set aside.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with 5 or 6 ice cubes and add the blended Scotch, lemon juice, and St. Germain.
  3. Shake for 30 seconds.
  4. Pour into the prepared glasses and top each coupe off with ginger beer.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 0gSugar: 34gProtein: 1g

The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.

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13 Comments

  1. Sounds delicious! I also had a pumpkin martini the other night which was so creamy and delicious that I’m afraid martinis are ruined forever! Go try one today!

  2. Here is the question – Where can you find REAL Ginger Beer? Not the light stuff with ginger flavor, but the true spicy Jamaican Ginger Beer that will burn the back of your throat? Haven’t found it in 4 years in NYC.

  3. I don’t think you should waste a terrific single malt Scotch on a mixed drink. Sorry – drink it neat.

  4. Ariel – I love Maine Root’s Ginger Brew. I had it this summer in Portland, but my local Whole Foods has started stocking it.

    Dad – you only use a drop of of the good smoky scotch. The rest of it is the blended stuff, so you’re not wasting the high-end hooch.

    1. Dear Melanie’s Super-Upstanding Ancestors, it’s only a drop or two of single malt. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t taint TOO much of my precious Lagavulin with more than water.

  5. My husband and I both love single malt. AND ginger beer. I’ve got to try this drink. So fun.

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