“My hang up with holiday cocktail is they’re often cloyingly sweet,” says Nathan Elliott. His goal: a drink that was “not too heavy or too sweet.” Blended Scotch lends a malty base, which is filled out with cherry and bitter orange liqueur (Oregon-made Calisaya is his pick, but Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao also has the right orange-and-spice profile, he says), plus spiced oat milk to tie it all together. A dried fruit garnish echoes the fruitcake motif; Elliott recommends dried Amarena cherries and golden raisins: “it’s dried fruit you actually want to eat.”
- 1 1/2 ounce blended Scotch, preferably Monkey Shoulder
- 1 ounce spiced oat milk (see Editor’s Note)
- 1/2 ounce Calisaya
- 1/4 ounce cherry liqueur, preferably Heering
- 1/4 ounce demerara syrup (2:1, demerara sugar:water)
- 1 dash walnut bitters
Garnish: rosemary sprig, dehydrated fruit (such as golden raisins or dried cherries)
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake with ice briefly, about 5 seconds.
- Strain into rocks glass over ice.
- Garnish with rosemary sprig and dehydrated fruit.
Spiced Oat Milk:
To make spiced oat milk, combine 1 quart of oat milk with 4 pieces whole cinnamon, 2 tablespoons allspice berries, and freshly grated nutmeg (to taste). Seal container, shake well and let sit for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Strain into a bottle. Milk will keep for up to two weeks, refrigerated.