We’re still in the mood for keeping warm and cozy, as we’re in the midst of a cold snap here in DC. So we decided to take an already-warm drink, the Irish Coffee, and bump up the warmth a bit with some smokey Scotch whisky. –Andrew
Scotch Coffee Cocktail Recipe
2 oz Blended Scotch Whisky
1 oz Vanilla Bean Syrup
6 oz Hot Black Coffee
To make the vanilla bean syrup: combine a cup of sugar, a cup of water, and one whole vanilla bean, split down the middle, in a sauce pan over low heat. Stir frequently until all the sugar is melted into the water. Remove the pan from the heat and cover to allow the vanilla to infuse – at least 20 minutes, but the longer the better. Then strain the syrup through cheesecloth or a fine-meshed sieve to remove the vanilla bean solids (don’t worry about catching all the black flecks of vanilla bean). Bottle and refrigerate.
To make the Scotch Coffee: combine the Scotch, vanilla syrup, and fresh hot coffee in a mug. Top with whipped cream and, optionally, garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Enjoy!
I wasn’t sure how this one would turn out when I first made it. Irish Coffee is such a classic drink, with a smooth, rich flavor profile, that I was worried the smokiness of the Scotch would overpower the other flavors in my mug. But it turned out much, much better than I had even expected. This drink is warm and rich, with lots of notes of earthy peat from the Scotch – and none of the smokey sharpness I was worried about. Vanilla is a perfect match for Scotch, rounding out any rough edges and helping the whisky’s warmer notes pop. Together with the coffee, they’re pretty magic.
As with any Scotch cocktail, your final drink’s flavors will depend on the Scotch you use. A single malt brimming with peat or brine can dominate your drink, but a milder blended Scotch – we used Monkey Shoulder – will blend and merge more easily with the other flavors in your mug.
Oh, and that vanilla bean syrup – it’s super easy to make at home and is worth keeping around for more than just this one cocktail. It’s amazing in regular coffee and is perfect for a wide array of cocktails, including Tiki drinks that play up vanilla’s origins as a tropical orchid.
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Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper