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Blending the Rules

Bartenders—at long last—look past the single malt scotch.

Author Geraldine Campbell


Don’t let anyone tell you that the tide of the cocktail renaissance has lifted all boats. While single malt scotches, ryes and—particularly—bourbons sailed comfortably out of the slips they’d been residing in for years, such blended whiskeys as Chivas, Famous Grouse and Johnny Walker have remained locked in grandpa’s dusty garage. That’s starting to change. Bartenders have begun to notice that single malts, especially the peaty, smoky ones, don’t always play well with other flavors, whereas their more balanced, blended counterparts lend a subtle smokiness to cocktails without dominating them. A favorite new concoction, from the über-hip Burger & Lobster in London, is a drink named for that famous Declaration of Independence signatory with Scottish roots, John Hancock.


The John Hancock

› 1.5 oz. Chivas 12
› 2/3 oz. lemon juice
› 2/3 oz. vanilla syrup
› 1 tsp. simple syrup
› 2 dashes angostura bitters
› 2.5 oz. Sam Adams

Shake first five ingredients with ice and strain into a 16 oz. highball glass. Top with beer.

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