Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Library Cocktail

My housemate has a passion for books: reading, finding, buying, possessing. Our place is filled with the things. The dining room is lined with bookcases, and there’s often a stack of books beside his place at the table or on a small side table within easy reach of his chair.

I was working on this cocktail in the early evening (surrounded by the books, of course) when he returned from walking the dog. The first sip reminded me somehow of the subtle pleasures of an old book. And while I haven’t tasted many books, The Library Cocktail was the first name that came to mind. Of course he liked it.

Scotch, my housemate notes, is a contemplative spirit. (“It’s the baseball of drinking.”) Complex and intriguing, it gives heft to mixed drinks. It produces cocktails for rainy days, cool evenings, a late night round with a couple of favored guests. But it doesn’t need to be all heavy weather. Here I’ve kept the smokiness light with dry vermouth and amontillado, and Tuaca makes for a little richness in the background without getting too sweet.

The Library Cocktail
  • 1 1/2 oz scotch (Johnnie Walker Red Label)
  • 3/4 oz Tuaca
  • 3/4 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz amontillado sherry
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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