Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Cocktails: Ashtray Heart

This drink comes from Erik Ellestad, via Marleigh at Sloshed! What was intended to be a scotch cocktail became something else when Erik accidentally grabbed a bottle of Smith & Cross rum instead. To bring it back a bit, he added a mezcal rinse to include some smoke in the drink. Cocktail VirginSlut also has Fred's take on the drink. While rather bizarre at first sight, it all comes together surprisingly well.

Ashtray Heart
1 oz Smith & Cross rum
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz dry vermouth

Combine all ingredients, stir with ice for fifteen seconds, then strain into a mezcal-rinsed cocktail glass and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

The nose is surprisingly subdued, with just a bit of the rum's normally volcanic funk and the mezcal's smoke, and some dark fruit from the vermouth. The sip begins somewhat thinly with some white wine, but slowly builds into the rum's funky esters, then dark wine from the sweet vermouth and rubbery smoke from the mezcal, which then recedes with mild bitterness, rum esters and mezcal smoke.

This is a fantastic cocktail. While all of the ingredients are pretty burly, they do a great job of keeping each other in check. As a note, you really have to use Smith & Cross for this cocktail. No other rum is going to punch through in quite the same way. You can adjust the balance a bit depending on your choices of vermouths. I used Dolin Dry and Punt e Mes, which is a pretty hefty sweet vermouth. Something more subdued like Vya will let the rum shine. But no matter what you pick, this is going to be an enjoyable experience.

1 comment:

  1. As a Manhattan devotee and a S&C rum fan, I had to give this a try. Used Cocchi Vermouth di Torino and Dolin Dry and Los Danzantes Reposado mezcal. The funk of the rum and the mezcal give a medicinal/band aid-y flavor that I associate with some single malts so I'm not surprised that Erik Ellestad came up with this combo when working on a Scotch cocktail. And it's a fine complement to the olives I'm eating.

    If you like a Blood and Sand, give this a try.