Flannel Shirt

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Cocktail History

The Flannel Shirt is a Scotch cocktail that was first created for a fall event by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, a drinks writer and bartender at Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon. His goal was to take inspiration from the flavors of a mulled cider but tweak them to be served cold. The result combines a sharp whisky backbone with the warming flavors of apple and spices plus the slight bitter note of amaro to create a recipe that even the sweetest of palates will enjoy.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Scotch: This is the base spirit. We chose to use The Famous Grouse because it’s a great mixing Scotch with a bit of smoky flavor but still plenty of sweetness—perfect for a fall cocktail.

Apple Cider: This gives the drink its sweetened apple and spice flavor. We prefer to use the real apple cider available from a local orchard during the fall season, not the bottled stuff, because that tends to taste too sour no matter what brand you get.

Amaro Averna: This amaro adds unique herbal flavors a bit of bitterness.

Lemon Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors that balance out the other sweet ingredients. We always use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes much better.

Simple Syrup: This is a sweetener made with sugar and water. You can buy bottled simple syrup in a store, but we made ours at home using Alex’s recipe because it tastes better fresh and is very easy to make.

St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram: This adds autumnal spices to the cocktail. If you can’t find St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, you can also increase the amount of Angostura aromatic bitters for a slightly different but still similar flavor.

Angostura Aromatic Bitters: This is a type of spirit infused with botanicals. They add more spice and complexity to the drink and tie the other flavors together.

Orange Peel: This is the garnish. It adds a hint of orange flavor.

Tasting Notes

The Flannel Shirt has bright orange aromas with a touch of smokiness, and the sip begins with a smooth apple-forward flavor that continues into an explosion of smokiness, bitter-sweetness, and spices while held in the mouth, all of which follow the drink down the throat and result in that deep feeling of coziness.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both really, really liked this one. Kendall, who doesn’t typically go for Scotch, felt the other flavors made it very palatable. And Alex, who loves a bit of smokiness, found it to be absolutely amazing and will definitely be adding this to the roster of seasonal favorites.

Alex’s Take: “Wow, this drink is so much different than I expected. From the aromas alone, I fully expected a much smokier profile, but I was pleasantly surprised at how balanced it still ended up being. It seems to really embody a lot of fall flavors, with a bit of bitterness, a lot of spice, and a touch of smokiness as well. And damn, is it perfect for the season! It may be called the Flannel Shirt, but it made me want to put on a full-length flannel robe and relax by a fire.”

Kendall’s Take: “My palate is still much too underdeveloped for me to really enjoy Scotch drinks, but this was surprisingly good! And it also tastes nothing like what I expected from the smoky aroma. The Scotch was muted just enough by the apple cider to be drinkable. I could certainly see this being a pick for those who want to experience the tastes of autumn without having to try a kitschy pumpkin drink.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 1 ¾ oz Scotch
 1 ½ oz Apple Cider
 ½ oz Amaro Averna
 ¼ oz Lemon Juice
 ¼ oz Homemade Simple Syrup
 ½ oz St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram
 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
 1 Orange Peel

Method
1

Add Scotch, apple cider, Amaro Averna, lemon juice, simple syrup, allspice dram, bitters, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass over fresh ice.

4

Garnish with orange peel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ¾ oz Scotch
 1 ½ oz Apple Cider
 ½ oz Amaro Averna
 ¼ oz Lemon Juice
 ¼ oz Homemade Simple Syrup
 ½ oz St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram
 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
 1 Orange Peel

Directions

Method
1

Add Scotch, apple cider, Amaro Averna, lemon juice, simple syrup, allspice dram, bitters, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass over fresh ice.

4

Garnish with orange peel.

Flannel Shirt

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More Whiskey Cocktails

If you like this whiskey-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

 Blood & Sand: A Scotch cocktail made with cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, orange juice, and a cherry

 Flying Scotsman: A Scotch cocktail made with sweet vermouth, simple syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, orange zest, and an orange twist

 Brown Derby: A bourbon cocktail made with grapefruit juice, honey, and a grapefruit twist

 Penicillin: A Scotch cocktail made with lemon juice, honey syrup, ginger syrup, and candied ginger

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