The Citrus Scotch-tail

Stephen Leotta

Great single malt whiskeys are meant to be consumed slowly, straight, in a tumbler with, maybe, a splash of water. This is a canon that so many hardcore Scotch drinkers espouse. But thanks to a flood of the stuff from upstarts and international competition, single malts are a bit less precious – and ripe for mixing in a seasonal cocktail. John McCarthy, the beverage director for the Highlands, a Scottish gastropub in New York City, has just the “scotch-tail” for the summer: The Presbyterian Revenge is a simple mix of bitters, Cynar (a bittersweet Italian aperitif), sugar, and lemon that is citrusy and refreshing with plenty of teeth. “Instead of going down the road of a Manhattan and using a sweetener, I wanted to make a refresher,” says McCarthy. “I was looking to make a scotch cocktail using a bitter, and I had always enjoyed Cynar, usually with soda, so I set out to see if I could find a way to combine the two.”

1 dash grapefruit bitters
.25 oz simple syrup
.25 oz lemon juice
.75 oz Cynar
1.5 oz Ancnoc 12-year

Shake, strain, then pour in a rocks glass with ice. Splash soda and garnish with a grapefruit peel.

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