We had a few friends over yesterday for an evening of food and drink, including some couples that haven't joined us before. I got to sling drinks all night, and at one point I assembled this one as a change from our pitcher of punch and the mostly bourbon-based cocktails I'd made up to that point.
A couple guys joined me in the kitchen during the processed and looked overly impressed, so I started explaining to them my theory of cocktail remixing. I'll have to put together a detailed post on this sometime soon, but in brief: you can make any number of "original" drinks simply by swapping similar ingredients out for one another. A lot of classics were created this way: bartenders started with the Manhattan, swapped out the whiskey for gin to make the Martinez, and then swapped out the sweet vermouth for dry to make the Martini. It happens all the time! I actually have a pretty neat book that lays out this entire concept (they even boil it down to about 10 master ratios) which I quite like. It's a really good pick for novices and I really wish I'd come up with the idea first.
Anyway, this one's a remix of a Manhattan, or a Rob Roy, I suppose. It substitutes scotch as the core spirit (I'll have to do a single malt scotch post soon...) with a touch of apple brandy for character, and splits the standard sweet vermouth with Cocchi Americano. Easy. Assemble as follows:
1 1/2 oz scotch (I used my Macallan 10 Year Fine Oak, but a decent blend's fine too)
1/2 oz Laird's Straight Apple Brandy
1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Cinzano, which is a pretty standard example)
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
2 dashes Regan's No. 6 Orange Bitters
Stir over ice and strain over a large cube in an old-fashioned glass; garnish with a large swath of orange peel.
The name is a hopefully-recognizable tribute to Mitch Hedberg, specifically one of my favorite one-liners: "I remixed a remix, it was back to normal!"