Mr. Roy (Jason Littrell, Death & Co, JBird, New York)
High energy Jason Littrell can be found behind the bar at Manhattan's Death & Co and Jbird, as well as doing extensive consulting for bars and spirits with Jbird Cocktails. For this riff on a Rob Roy, Littrell used Johnny Walker Double Black, a super-smokey, more Islay-whiskey-driven expression of Johnny Walker's classic Black Label formulation. "Peat, vanilla, and allspice are a pretty magical combination, one that can has ready associtations with comfort, the holidays, and escaping even for a moment from your crazy family," says Littrell, when asked about his thinking behind the manly cocktail. "[Mr. Roy] is simple, elegant, sophisticated, and has a fair amount of backbone, just in case you find yourself under the mistletoe at a holiday party."
• 1 oz Johnnie Walker Double Black Label Scotch
• 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
• 1 dash Angostura Bitters
• 1 dash Allspice Dram
Stir over ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a cherry. Mr. Roy can do double duty as a hot drink as well. "Simply assemble all the ingredients on the stove in a pot (multiplied by desired amount of servings of course), and add an ounce of hot apple cider," explains Littrell. "Hot punch is brilliant served out of a crock pot by the way. Garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg to really push it over the top."