Marcus Henriksson, Brooms & Hatches, Oslo, Norway
“I have always been fascinated by the process that occurs during the barrel aging, called the angel’s share, when some percent of the spirit is lost to evaporation. There’s something almost poetic about it.
The drink is inspired by the classic Rusty Nail and the beautifully named Kiss From Heaven.
While trying to write the recipe down I recalled reading about something called whiskey barrel aged bitters (from the book Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons), and I wrote it in immediately. And luckily, after trying it out, to me it worked out fine! The idea with the addition of the bitters was to give the drink a strong connection or ‘red line’ with the whisk(e)y (since Drambuie is a whisky-based liqueur).
Oban 14 Year Old gives a nice character and was my choice after some try outs with this drink. It also works really well with Japanese single malts from Hibiki and Yamazaki and with more peaty whiskies like Talisker or Islay single malts as well, for those who like a rougher kind of drink.
The choice of vermouth was Noilly Prat (though others may as well work out fine), partly to make a connection with the process and name of the drink. The angel’s share seems to play an important part in the making of Noilly Prat: During the aging process the wine is aged outdoors, which encourages nature to weave its magic with the influence of the four seasons, so the angel’s share is four times greater due to this than if the wines were to be aged in an indoor cellar.
It is said that when Louis Noilly got the question how he could allow for so much of his wine to evaporate in the sun, his answer was something like, ‘I want to give a share to the angels (or a taste to the angels)’.” Marcus Henriksson
20 ml (.66 oz) Noilly Prat sweet vermouth
20 ml (.66 oz) Drambuie
2 to 3 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters
1 lemon twist, as garnish
Stir over ice and strain into a chilled sherry goblet. Add the garnish.
gaz sez: I love Oban. I’ve been a big fan of this salty dram for a few decades now, and I’ve seldom seen it put to good use in the cocktail world, but Marcus has nailed it here. The bitters are a nice touch, too.
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