Old Grampian

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Cocktail History

The Old Grampian is a Scotch cocktail that was created by Isaac Shumway of Tosca Café in San Francisco, California and included in PUNCH Drink’s book Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails. This riff on an Old Fashioned calls for both a blended and a peated Islay Scotch and pairs them with rich honey along with bitters to make a complex sipper that is meant to be enjoyed slowly.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Blended Scotch: This is one of the base spirits. 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. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the Scotch.

Peaty Islay Scotch: This is the other base spirit. It’s a type of Scotch whisky made in southern Scotland. We used Laphroaig 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky because it’s a great, peaty whisky with bold flavors. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the whisky.

Honey Syrup: This is a sweetener made with honey and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s simple recipe.

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. For a mocktail version of this drink, try All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the bitters.

Orange Bitters: This is a type of spirit infused with orange and botanicals. They add citrus flavor and spice to the drink for more complexity. We used Angostura Orange Bitters because they pair well with their aromatic bitters. For a mocktail version of this drink, try All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Orange Bitters in place of the bitters.

Orange Twist: This is the garnish. It adds a hint of citrus aroma.

Tasting Notes

The Old Grampian has a citrus aroma that is complemented by earthy smoke and a honey-rich flavor that features notes of chocolate, nut, and oak, all of which are chased down by a lingering but not aggressive smokiness.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Unlike the Saigon Lady, our opinions were much more aligned on this Scotch drink. Alex did expect it to be stronger and smokier than it was but loved its smoothness. And thanks to the balance offered by the sweet ingredients, Kendall added this one to the short list of Scotch-based cocktails she would try again. 

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I knew from the list of ingredients that I would like this, and as normal when I think that going in, I liked it even more than I expected. The Laphroaig was enough to give the drink a definite peatiness, but it ended up being far less aggressive than I expected. The honey was also a natural bedfellow to the Scotch, and the two played off each other extremely well, creating an earthy Old Fashioned riff that I certainly I’ll come back to again and again.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“We finally found another drink that might make me like Scotch some day! As of right now, Scotch lands in the same arena as mezcal for me—too much like the taste of smoke or rubber. But in this cocktail, it’s quite palatable thanks to the sweet notes. I might even make it through an entire glass of this one.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails by the editors of PUNCH.

Sale
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 160 Pages – 10/02/2018 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$12.99

AuthorWinter DrinksPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Blended Scotch
 ½ oz Peated Islay Scotch
 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
 1 dash Orange Bitters
 1 Orange Peel

Method
1

Add blended Scotch, Islay Scotch, honey syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, and orange bitters to a lowball glass.

2

Squeeze orange peel over top of the glass and rub around the inside.

3

Add ice.

4

Stir for 10-15 seconds.

5

Garnish with orange peel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Blended Scotch
 ½ oz Peated Islay Scotch
 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
 1 dash Orange Bitters
 1 Orange Peel

Directions

Method
1

Add blended Scotch, Islay Scotch, honey syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, and orange bitters to a lowball glass.

2

Squeeze orange peel over top of the glass and rub around the inside.

3

Add ice.

4

Stir for 10-15 seconds.

5

Garnish with orange peel.

Old Grampian

Make It a Mocktail: Use Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the Scotch, All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the bitters, and All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Orange Bitters in place of the bitters to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Scotch Cocktails

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

Flying Scotsman Cocktail Recipe

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

Penicillin Cocktail Recipe

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

Saigon Lady Cocktail Recipe

Saigon Lady: A Scotch and brandy cocktail made with grenadine, lemon juice, egg white, and ground cinnamon

Flannel Shirt Cocktail Recipe

Flannel Shirt: A Scotch cocktail made with apple cider, Amaro Averna, lemon juice, simple syrup, allspice dram, Angostura aromatic bitters, and an orange peel

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