Have you ever looked across the room at a party, at a bar or even at a train station and said hmmmmm I’d like to get to know that person? You make eye contact, you smile at each other and then in a blink of an eye they’re gone. The mysterious stranger. What could have happened if we had met? I’m sure many of you have had that experience. I know I have. So I created this cocktail for those of you wondering about those missed connections.

I wanted it to be deep and rich with a bit of smokiness to it. For the smoke I start out with Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blend Scotch. Full bodied, smoky and rich. A blend of Islay, Highland and Speyside malts blended with Lowland grains with notes of sherry and spice. If you are a peaty single malt drinker I sincerely ask you to try this blended scotch. You won’t be disappointed. Jon Glaser really knows his stuff.

I need a bitter and intense component. So I chose Fernet-Branca.I happen to love the taste of all the herbs and spices that are in this wonderful amaro. Usually served as a digestive, I think it makes a fantastic addition and blends really well with the smokiness of the scotch.

I then add 18.21 Earl Grey Bitters. A delicious small batch premium cocktail bitters from Georgia . Wonderfully aromatic with the most incredible rich scent and taste of bergamot. Missy and Kristin Koefod you rock once again!

Now I add orange. Triple orange actually. Cointreau which has a sweet and bitter orange flavor. Or bittersweet if you will. I also wanted an orange bitters but not just any orange bitters. Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6 . A delicious blend of orange zest, spice and lots of other great herbs. Developed by the wonderful Gary Regan who I happen to know and adore! I also garnish my cocktail with an orange twist. It all blends together beautifully.

So next time you think about that person that you had that brief connection with have a Mysterious Stranger Cocktail and forget your troubles. Or next time you see a mysterious stranger go on up to them (don’t be shy!) have a chat and have the cocktail together! It could be the start of something wonderful! Cheers!!!

The Mysterious Stranger

2 oz blended scotch (Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blend)
1 oz Fernet-Branca
1/2 oz Cointreau
2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters No. 6
orange twist for garnish

Stir the scotch, fernet and Cointreau in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a coupe or cocktail glass. Add the bitters and garnish with the twist.