Nole and I are big fans of one of our Capitol Hill neighborhood restaurants: Ted’s Bulletin. Ted’s has some great food and drinks (and is very welcoming to Sophie, which just makes us like them more). One of their best drinks is the Delbarton Burns, which carefully balances a really peaty Scotch – an unusual base – with sweet and spicy notes for a subtly delicious cocktail. – Andrew
Illustration by Caitlin Keegan for Oh So Beautiful Paper
The Delbarton Burns
2 oz Scotch
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Benedictine
2 Dashes Orange Bitters
Combine the Scotch, vermouth, Benedictine, and bitters with ice. (Ted’s starts with Laphroaig, a really briney, peaty Scotch, so make sure you use one with lots smoke to it.) Stir well, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry or a lemon twist. Enjoy!
The resulting drink is pretty neat. A peaty Scotch can, by itself, taste something like a campfire, not something everyone is looking for in a cocktail. The smokiness does shine through in the Delbarton Burns, but it’s not overwhelming at all. Instead, it’s carefully balanced with the light, sweet notes of the vermouth and the sweet herbal notes of the Benedictine, making this drink far more subtle than its ingredients would suggest. (This seems to be a reoccurring theme with Scotch cocktails.)
The Delbarton Burns is, in a lot of ways, a play on the Manhattan we featured last week. Swap in Scotch for another whiskey, replace a bit of the vermouth with Benedictine, and you have a very different but still familiar drink. Like the Manhattan, the Delbarton Burns is the sort of drink that benefit from a bit of aging. Try mixing up a batch and leaving them to sit in a glass container overnight; you’ll enjoy a much mellower, superbly well-integrated drink.
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper