I thought of the theme for this month’s Mixology Monday shortly after making the Black Rene, an obscure drink from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933. The combination of brandy, amber rum, lemon, and Maraschino was tasty, but I felt that the recipe could be improved if I swapped in different ingredients. Taking a page from Max Toste of Deep Ellum who converted the Black Devil into the White Devil, I flipped around the ingredients to be pisco, white rum, lime, and Maraschino instead. With this combination that I called the White Rene, the drink really sang but it was still recognizable as being an alteration of the original recipe. Others have done similar swaps with grand effect including the Bluegrass Mai Tai that that changes the two rums to two whiskeys and swaps lime for lemon from the classic while holding everything else the same.
We enjoy substitution games here at the Lounge, and we love classic cocktails and their variations. Flip Flop reminds me a bit of Stewart Putney’s excellent Inverted theme, so I’ve worked with the same cocktail as on that round, The Chancellor. I’ve had fortified wines on the brain, and thought right away of the white port I’ve been so fond of lately as an exchange for the ruby of the original recipe. The blended scotch became a single malt, the dry vermouth turned sweet, and the orange bitters transformed to apple.
- 1 1/2 oz single malt scotch (Laphroaig 10)
- 1 1/2 oz white port (Quinta do Infantado)
- 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
- 3 dashes Bar Keep Baked Apple Bitters
ROWEN, FOGGED IN LOUNGE
Caramel and wood from the barrels had me drinking this a little too fast, like the flavor descriptor I was trying to think of was just around the bend. I guess I could have used a milder and less iodine malt, but the Laphroaig I bought this afternoon called to me. Since it was intense enough to trample the other stuff in the glass, I used an equal amount of port. (The balance seems roughly like the classic Chancellor recipe when made with my preferred base, Johnnie Walker Black Label.) The apple bitters are a perfect complement to this gold-hued version of the highbrow classic.