This cocktail, created by Lauren Mote, celebrates the region of Kildalton, on the Scottish isle of Islay, home to the elegant but powerfully smoky Lagavulin 16-year single-malt whisky.
• 1 oz (30 mL) Lagavulin 16 Year Old Islay Single Malt
• 0.5 oz (15 mL) green Chartreuse
• 0.75 oz (22 mL) sage syrup (recipe below)
• 0.75 oz (22 mL) lemon juice
• 2 dashes Bittered Sling Western Haskap bitters
• Ginger beer (preferably Grace or Fentimans)
Place all ingredients (except ginger beer) in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake well. Strain over fresh ice in a tall Collins glass. Top with ginger beer, then swizzle gently to combine. If desired, garnish with a bouquet of fresh winter herbs (rosemary, thyme, mint and sage), tied together with butcher twine. Serves 1.
• 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) hot water at 140°F (60°C)
• 1 ½ cups (375 mL) white sugar
• 3/8 oz (10 g) dried sage tea leaves, about 2 tbsp (30 mL)
Pour the hot water over the tea and steep at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Remove the herbs and store in a clean bottle in the fridge for up to 7 days. Makes about 2 cups (500 mL).
—by Lauren Mote