Scottish malt whisky and sherry have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship, both in terms of business and flavor, but I wanted to create a cocktail that highlighted the under-utilized connection between lighter manzanilla sherry and single malt. In barrel selection and in cocktails, heavier and more oxidative sherries are the go-to choice to pair with scotch, but the flavors of coastal single malts and "coastal" sherries have always fascinated me more. The Glenfarclas adds richer, fruity malt notes and a hint of chocolate in the drink, which is given added depth by the honey and spice flavors of the Benedictine, but the La Cigarrera keeps it light, fresh and saline. Sort of like almond tart given a hefty dose of salt to make the flavors pop. The chamomile arose out of a desire to give the drink a very fresh, floral nose to go with the lemon zest expressed as a garnish. It was originally intended as a garnish as well, but adding it to the Glenfarclas lightens the whisky without masking its rich malty flavors, and helps tease out the grassy, lighter qualities of the manzanilla in the finished cocktail.
Infusion is made by quickly soaking 2g of chamomile flowers into one 750ml bottle of Glenfarclas 12 year single malt whisky. Strain after no more than half an hour.
Add ingredients to a mixing glass, add ice, and stir briefly - no more than twelve seconds - then strain into a pre-chilled copita glass. Express the oils of a lemon peel over the drink, but discard the peel.
Manzanilla combines perfectly with fish and seafood, as well as with salted fish and cured meats.
Thanks to its low acidity, it is, together with Fino, the perfect choice to accompany salads, cold soups and dressings.
Use an ice bucket with both ice and water to serve chilled between 6 & 8º C.
Perfect with fish, seafood and all styles of food from the sea.
In traditional wide rimmed catavinos or in a white wine glass.