Wednesday, March 1, 2017
One of the things that excites me the most about the cocktail industry is creativity. Bartenders using unexpected ingredients in new and innovative ways, and thereby expanding the imbiber's assumptions and expectations. Specifically, the entire Tiki category has been dramatically challenged by bartenders in recent years, and I think it's fair to say that Tiki is no longer defined by Rum but instead by tropical flavors and an eccentric presentation (emphasis on the eccentric presentation).
Needless to say, delicious and creative cocktails excite me. And this is one of them. The Last Laph was created by Justin Lavenue of Austin, Texas, a recipe that is just too good not to share with all of you. It has all of the things one could ever hope for in a wintery Tiki libation: ginger, pineapple, fresh lemon juice, absinthe, and Laphroaig, an peaty Islay scotch. Ok, I know it sounds like the flavors in this drink should not work together, but it does. This drink is a tropical take on the peaty modern classic, the Penicillin, and one can hope that it has the some of the same illness-blasting benefits.
Tiki demands a great vessel, and I must admit that it was the vessel that inspired me to share this recipe with all of you, dear readers. These are goblets carved from Black Zebra Marble, found in a Rock Shop in an old mining town in Colorado. They begged me to buy them.
Almost immediately I thought of this Peaty Tiki libation, a medieval tropical drink of sorts. This recipe recommends Laphroaig Select, although in full disclosure I made these for friends and we finished off the entire bottle of Select - oops. I substituted Laphroaig Lore (which is a much more expensive bottle), which is a bit crazy, but also delicious. Better spirits make better drinks, right?! I highly recommend this bottle for sipping as well - it's incredibly rich and peaty with subtle influence from the sherry casks. It's a gem.
Enjoy fireside in a Scottish Castle or beachside on a remote island - either way I can guarantee happiness.
The Last Laph
Created by Justin Lavenue
3/4 oz Laphroaig Select
3/4 oz Ginger Liqueur (or 1:1 Ginger Simple Syrup)
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3 dashes Absinthe
Garnish with a few Pineapple Leaves and two Luxardo Cherries