Canadian whisky. Blended – which can be fine; one of my favorite bourbons, Black Maple Hill, is a blend. But Canadian whisky is blended not only from several different batches of whisky, but it’s also blended with neutral grain spirits. Neutral = no flavor to speak of. And when it comes to whiskies, flavor is pretty much the point. Indeed, with any spirit or liqueur, apart from vodka, flavor is the point. (The rash of flavored vodkas that dominate the spirits section of almost every liquor store shall simply be ignored, for it is a blight upon the world of alcohol.) I won’t disparage the whole category – I’m sure there are some fine Canadian whiskies out there. But in my limited experience, the ones I’ve had have been some combination of bland and sweet, without much character, and have never appealed to me.
So I don’t have any Canadian whisky. As such, I thought about skipping this one in the Savoy, but eventually decided that, since I’d gone to all the trouble to track down Swedish Punsch, and there aren’t that many drinks that call for it, I’d go ahead and try it, substituting rye for the called-for Canadian Club.
1 dash lemon juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
1/3 Canadian Club Whisky (substitute a decent rye, or not – it’s up to you)
1/3 sweet (white) vermouth
1/3 Swedish Punsch
I used an ounce of each of the liquors.
Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
I wasn’t at all sure what to expect with this one; it’s a pretty odd mixture of ingredients, apart from the lemon juice and bitters – not that there was enough lemon juice to have any noticeable impact. But this was surprisingly good. It’s definitely on the sweet side, courtesy of both the vermouth and the Punsch, which together take just about all the bite out of the whisky. Like many true cocktails (as opposed to what are more technically “tall” drinks like Collinses or slings), this one grows on you as you drink it. Not that you should be taking too long to drink a cocktail; if it’s gotten warm, you’re going too slow. While this might be improved with a bit more lemon juice, it’s really just fine as is. Four livers.