The whiskey cocktail is the point of origin for modern drinks. Its formula—spirit, sugar, water, and bitters—is a cocktail’s skeleton, the bones on which to hang some pretty shapely variations. The Nuevo Viejo, from Prizefighter—a bar in California that’s kind of my neighborhood bar in spirit, though I live a couple of miles away—combines the peaty musculature of Scotch with the supple sweetness of Grade B maple syrup. It’s windblown and easygoing, exactly the qualities I like in a whiskey cocktail. Cheers.
Prizefighter’s Nuevo Viejo Cocktail
Makes 1 drink
2 ounces blended Scotch whisky
1/4 ounce pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
2 dashes angostura bitters
Orange peel, for garnish
Step 1: Place an Old Fashioned glass in the freezer until chilled, at least 5 minutes.
Step 2: Combine the Scotch, maple syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker and fill it halfway with ice. Stir until the outside of the shaker is frosted. Strain the drink into the chilled Old Fashioned glass. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the glass, then drop it in.
• Gin and Tonic, Barcelona Style
Photo by Chris Rochelle