Great winter cocktails are few and far between, which is why Polo Bar alumnus and Ardent Hospitality co-founder Marlon Tulaszewski’s four ingredient Craighouse Cheer should be part of your winter after-hours routine.
The trick to making a perfect drink for the colder months is capitalizing on the flavors, scents and colors of the season without making things too heavy. We’ve all had winter drinks that sat heavier in your stomach than a load of snow (we’re looking at you, eggnog).
With Craighouse Cheer, Tulaszewski found a great balance: a hint of smoke in the single malt, rich texture and flavor from port, clever sweetness from using maple syrup instead of sugar, and a punch of citrus with some lemon juice.
Port and scotch sound like the makings of a great night in the lodge, by the fire, maybe with a Winston Churchill impersonator sitting nearby, and because they’re both barrel aged,, they mix well. “The two ingredients play off each other with their similar flavors without one completely dominating the other allowing you to still distinguish the uniqueness of both,” Tulaszewski says.
He likes a tawny port because an aged port “brings the vanilla, sweet cherry, and caramel notes that are great for the fall/winter months.”
He (and we) suggest sticking with the Jura 10 as recommended—it was, after all, on our favorite new affordable scotches of 2017 list—but you do have some wiggle room in choosing your whiskey. “A dryer, oaky bourbon would work pretty well in this drink if you like American over Scottish whisky,” he explains, but sticking closer to a lighter, peated scotch is really going to give this drink the extra inches. “Jura has rich heather honey, caramel, and ginger spice that perfectly compliments the other ingredients.”
Here’s how to make the Craighouse Cheer:
2 oz. Jura 10
.5 oz. Port
.5 oz. Lemon juice
.5 oz. Maple syrup
Combine the Jura 10, port, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, and shake well. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon peel.