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It is no secret, I enjoy a good cocktail. Occasionally I enjoy sipping a good spirit on the rocks, but I really prefer the balanced ballet of flavors in a good mixed drink.

In case you missed it, this is the kick off week for Toast Tuesday, my year in drinking as I work my way through The Year of Drinking Adventurously.  The fact that the author jumps into the deep end with scotch was a little daunting. I dated a fella awhile ago who really enjoyed the brown spirits. I didn’t enjoy the smell, or the flavor of these, and the fact I’d had a horrible drinking experience in college only furthered my dislike.
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Thank goodness I have friends with whom I am constantly swapping cocktail recipes with and I sent them out to do reconnaissance missions. I will say, going forward, I’ll have to exercise a little more restraint for the sake of my pocketbook. In my defense, I had NO scotch on my bar. This wasn’t even in my realm of possibilities. $150 later… This is what I came home with.

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I tasted all of the scotches by themselves and got an idea of which I liked and which ones weren’t my favorites. Then I made a cocktail. I picked a drink that had flavors I liked and was spirit forward. Since scotch is most often consumed neat, and not something I really was up for right out of the gate, I figured my drink choice was as close as I was going to get.

 

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The first one was good, but when C said it was better with red label, I had to agree. Much better balance. I tried the third with what had been a favorite when I was tasting and was surprised with the smokey flavor that came out in the cocktail. Quite tasty.

 

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I tried one with a scotch I hadn’t enjoyed too much in my tasting, but wanted to see how it would hold up to bitters and ice.  Whoa… The whole buy a wine because of a pretty label doesn’t hold up here.  This drink was boozey, but as my ice began to melt, the flavor mellowed and got better.  This bottle will sit on bar until some unsuspecting person comes along to finish it, but it won’t be me.

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Just so you don’t think I kept the alka-seltzer company in business, I made these drinks over the course of days 😉

In case you’re wondering, and I know you are, I made Fly by Night.  I stuck to the recipe and found it to be very nice.

Next week is Rye. Who’s playing along?  What surprises did you find this week?

 

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