Often, cocktails are a meeting of extremes: juicy grapefruit and earthy tequila, soft rum and spicy ginger, dry gin and bitter tonic.
In scotch whisky, the most intensely flavored bottles come from the island of Islay. There, whisky makers use barley dried with peat smoke that carries all the way through to the final product. The whiskies made on Islay including Laphroaig, Adrbeg, and Bowmore are intensely smoky and have many loyal followers.
In recent years, bartenders have figured out how to work with smoky flavors in whisky (and mezcal) cocktails, by mixing it with extremely soft flavors to achieve a balanced middle ground.
Le Pere Bis by Jim Meehan is one of these meetings of extremes, pairing the smoky scotch with three floral flavors: chamomile tea, elderflower liqueur, and honey. They come together wonderfully.
Le Pere Bis
By Jim Meehan
1.5 fl. oz. Ardbeg 10 Year or other Peated Scotch
.5 fl. oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 tsp. Honey
5 fl. oz. Hot Chamomile Tea
Add all ingredients to a heat-resistant glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge studded with cloves.
The recipe is included in Meehan's new cocktail book, The PDT Cocktail Book that includes hundreds of recipes from Meehan's bar along with great illustrations by artist Chris Gall.