101Best New Cocktails: Old Smoky by Jay Khan, The Blck Brd, Hong Kong

by Gaz Regan · Sunday, May 25th, 2014 · 101 Best New Cocktails, 101 Best New Cocktails 2014

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Old Smoky

Adapted from a recipe by Jay Khan, The Blck Brd, Hong Kong
Old Smoky Jay Khan


(I met Jay in Hong Kong earlier this year on a trip sponsored by Diageo World Class–thanks Diageo!)

“The drink is a variation on a Zacapa Old-Fashioned (my all-time favourite drink).  Since the Zacapa Old-Fashioned is on the sweeter side, I was always thinking to add something which harmonizes and at the same time which could also balance with those Raisined fruit flavours from the Zacapa itself.  A few early attempts were slightly more on the smokier side with 1/2 oz of Talisker, but recently i figured out [if I used just] 1/4 oz [of Talisker] and finished off the drink with an Ardbeg mist, [it would] give the drink a strong smoky nose but the taste [would have just] a hint of smoky flavor, so the Zacapa could still stand out without the scotch whiskies stealing the show.   With the addition of saline, which helps to suppress some of the bitter flavors and also helps brighten the drink slightly, this is a perfect addition to my Old Smoky recipe,” Jay Khan.

45 ml (1.5 oz) Ron Zacapa 23Old Smoky

7.5 ml (.25 oz) Talisker 10-year-old single malt scotch

7.5 ml (.25 oz) rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar:water ratio)

1 dash chocolate bitters

1 dash orange bitters

3 drops saline solution*

Ardbeg mist**

1 orange twist, as garnish

Stir all ingredients, except for the Ardbeg mist, over ice, and stain into a snifter over one large ice cube.  Spray the Ardbeg mist over the drink, and add the garnish.

*Saline Solution

Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 50 ml (just over 1.5 oz) of water

** Ardbeg Mist

Fill a clean atomizer with Ardbeg single malt scotch, and release mist over the drink.

gaz sez:  I’m a sucker for smoky whiskeis, and I’m a sucker for Zacapa, too, so this baby was a natch for me.  I do love the use of saline solution here, too, and I’m betting we’ll see more of this ingredient in cocktails in the near future.  Congrats, Jay.  You done real good with this one.

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