George drinks, too, you know. Especially when I can mix the concoction myself, since there's magic in the music of the cocktail shaker. Sure, there's the old Nick Charles' lines: "The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now a Manhattan you shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time, a dry martini you always shake to waltz time." But the problems with this elegant claim are multiple, as you run out of dances before you run out of drinks, plus no one, sadly, makes Bronxes anymore (not to mention, oranges in the Bronx? the drink should be called an Irvine or St. Augustine). Simply put, the cocktail isn't an invitation to dance, really, it's an invite to an entire evening, with so much before us. The shaker's ring of metal and ice is a call, it is, to a civility, a pleasance, a start.
So here's what I'd recommend of late, my little twist (I make it a perfect, with both vermouths) on Dale DeGroff's little twist on the Rob Roy that he calls a Greenbriar but everyone else on the web thinks a drink with that nom de cock has sherry in it, so who the heck knows. If it needs its own new name, let's dub it a Scotch'd the Snake, and not beat it to death.
Scotch'd the Snake
5 oz. Scotch (Dewars is perfectly pleasant)
1 oz. Dry Vermouth
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
several dashes Orange Bitters
several dashes Cointreau (may substitute Citronge)
2 twists of Lemon
Add all the ingredients except for the lemon twists into a shaker with ice. Shake. Pour into two cocktail glasses. Twist a slice of lemon peel over each and add to glass as garnish.
(per 2 cocktails, as two is the sweetest cocktail number and if you're drinking alone you'll need the second one for yourself)
I only wish I could make one for my dad, who was devoted to the Rob Roy late in his life. No doubt it'd be a subtle enough shift he'd rebel, but generational cocktail differences are a necessary part of growing up, aren't they. Have a drink and discuss.