It’s no secret that I love peaty scotch bases in cocktails. And I mean bases. Not the “incorporation” that many people use of Islay scotches, where they are confined to just a glass rinse or aerosol-ized as a spritz over a cocktail for the “hint” of peat. That is silly. And I don’t think my tastebuds are sensitive enough to detect such nuance.
So I wanted to write an article of my favorite Islay cocktails. And since there are many, I wanted to focus specifically on the ones that are good with Laphroaig first. Laphroaig was my first love – and the only Islay scotch I knew by name for a year. But now I’ve become a bit more promiscuous with my Islay whisky drinking, and know all of their names. I have also learned that not all whiskies are alike and cannot be substituted between cocktails willy-nilly.
Laphroaig is famous (and some say infamous) for their seaweed, hospital-on-fire, hyper-iodine flavors. It’s really a unique flavor profile, and there are certain cocktails that I like to use with their standard Laphroaig 10 year.
Thus, this article. A few cocktails that really celebrate the Laphroaig-yness of Laphroaig:
A cocktail in the Last Word family. Bonus points – it was made here in San Francisco (!). Full recipe here. And just for completion, the exact Laphroaig variant of the Last Word is our “Islay Word” (recipe here).
It is HARD to make a negroni with Laphroaig as a base taste good (believe me, I’ve tried and failed many times). Finally, we made it happen by adding the ultimate whisky complement: oloroso sherry. Full recipe here.
#3: Sedentary Banana
As you can see, we are fans of the Giffard’s banana liqueuer (we also do not have many liqueurs in house). The liqueur works very well with rum – and really plays well with the punchy-ness of Laphroaig. Full recipe here.
#4: Smoked Mule
This drink is a high octane, high proof cocktail from the Death & Company book. It works surprisingly well for just a three-ingredient cocktail (and has a full ounce of Laphroaig). Full recipe here.