A couple of weeks ago, our brother had to put his dog down. The little Scottish terrier had led a long and happy life, but his pain had grown and his tail just was not wagging any more.
But this is a story of how the family decided to honor & remember him: to make a drink in his name.
In his youthful days Scout would bound across fields without a care. He was nicknamed The Black Bullet, so with that name in mind each member of the family was challenged to create a unique cocktail. You can see below the five versions of the Black Bullet created by all of the Lowes:
Left to right: Brother, Mama, Papa, Barrett, Brandie
We are not expert (or even trained) bartenders, but we both enjoy creating cocktails from scratch. For this challenge, we were obviously hoping to create dark drinks (ideally black) and there was an ambiguous “bonus” for using scotch (Scottish terrier).
Barrett decided to work with Sambuca Black. He tried mixing with a few different types of bitters before settling on charred cedar (bitters made by the Lowes, in the style of Brad Thomas Parsons). To temper the strong licorice flavor he added milk on top, with a very slow pour so it would float on top and preserve the dark black bottom. He topped with whipped cream.
Brandie was inspired by coffee. She had trouble with the actual cocktail, but quickly decided to dip the rim in coffee and coat it with a blend of crushed cacao beans and brown sugar. She lifted a recipe from the book Tequila Cocktails (you’ll see more from this, we promise!) and added coffee pecan bitters (again, made by the Lowes, recipe by BTP) to the tequila, coffee, and Kahlua mixture. To finish the presentation and add to the aroma she added whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg.
The five of us managed to vote such that there was no clear winner, so we let the other dog decide. After all, she knew Scout best! She chose Papa’s drink.
So what was in the winning drink? High-quality, non-smoky scotch, blue curacao, and cassis liqueur. You might never expect it, but that was a very tasty drink.
COCKTAIL CREATION TIP: Minimize waste by mixing small portions in shot glasses while you taste for flavor combinations.
After you are confident you have a set of flavors that will pair well you can start measuring while you mix full-sized drinks. If we have an occasion for which we are developing a drink we try to allow at least 3 evenings so that we can get the proportions exactly right (without consuming 6 drinks in a night).