I was having drinks with a friend who is researching low-alcohol cocktails for a book. She told me about an old drink she’d discovered called the Mackinnon that she said was delicious. It contains a base of Drambuie liqueur, a splash of rum, lime and lemon juices, and soda water.
It was at that point I began to doubt whether my friend was qualified to write a book about drinks, or should be allowed in bars at all. The drink sounds awful: liqueur as the base of a highball? Worse yet, a scotch whisky-based liqueur that is combined with white rum? And then just throw two kinds of citrus at it, as if that will give it some clarity- yeah, right!
Well, yeah, right. The bartender whipped one up for all of us to try, and it was actually quite good.
Thinking about it, honey plays well with lemon in cocktails, but lemon isn’t quite as tart as lime that one would need to make this cocktail balanced against the sweetness of the Drambuie. The rum is still an odd choice, but I suppose white rum often has a round vanilla-creaminess to it whereas scotch would be heavy in flavor and vodka might come off as too sharp.
In any case, the Mackinnon is a surprising, citrusy drink that is far easier to enjoy in your mouth than in your brain when you think about it too much.
2 fl. oz. Drambuie
.5 fl. oz. White Rum
.5 fl. oz. Lime Juice
.5 fl. oz. Lemon Juice
Shake all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, then strain over new ice in a Collins glass. Top with sparkling water.