Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Visit to "the Darkside" - Evening with The Black Grouse

Last week I took a trip to the darkside and went to a scotch tasting.  Well, I guess it wasn't really a tasting but more of a cocktail competition as part of The Black Grouse's "Distinctive Bartender" tour.  The event was held at The Well, the bar next to The Forge on Miami Beach, and hosted by Baratunde Thurston, a standup comedian and director of digital at online funny news-maker, The Onion.

Three distinctive local bartenders were involved in the competition - Andres Aleman, John Lermayer, and Walid Hamid, the latter whom I recognized from spending time at Sra Martinez and The Lobby Bar at the W.  Here are a few of the cocktails these gents put out for the crowd, photos courtesy of The Black Grouse:

A Tippling Ballad by Andres Aleman
Smokey New York Sour by John Lermayer
The Grouse Dram by Walid Hamid

The Tippling Ballad had a strong coffee flavor thanks to the use of espresso infused honey and, not being a coffee drinker, that was too much for me.  There were a good number of fans for that one though.  The Smokey New York Sour was a good drink and I liked the way the splash of red wine added some fruit and played with the dryness of the scotch.  This drink and The Grouse Dram were tied for my second favorite drink of the night.  My favorite overall was The Scottish Mark by Walid Hamid.  He combined The Black Grouse, Yellow Chartreuse, and a little absinthe to make one pretty awesome cocktail.  It takes a lot for me to say that about a scotch cocktail but this drink was real good.

The Scottish Mark by Walid Hamid
Here's the winning recipe:

The Scottish Mark
1.5oz The Black Grouse
.75oz Yellow Chartreuse
.75oz Fresh-Squeezed Lemon and Lime Juice
.5oz Thyme Syrup
1 barspoon Absinthe

Mix together and shake all ingredients.  Strain into a snifter glass. 


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