One of my favorite cocktail books is Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, it is truly an epic tome filled with some of the best classic cocktails.
I love Scotch… and sometimes I like to have more fun than just pour it neat with a few splashes of spring water… I also like rarities… Scotch cocktails, as Mr. Haigh points out, are indeed rare.
According to Mr. Haigh, Arnaud’s Special Cocktail “was the signature cocktail of the legendary Arnaud’s Restaurant in New Orleans” during the 1940’s and 1950’s. Another famous classic to come from Arnaud’s was the French 75, which is currently the reigning signature drink.
However, a disclaimer is in order… IF YOU DO NOT LIKE SCOTCH, THEN YOU WILL NOT LIKE THIS COCKTAIL… Unlike other Scotch-based cocktails, where the mixing ingredients serve to temper the smoky, peaty, distinctive flavor of the Scotch, In Arnaud’s Special Cocktail, neither the Dubonnet, nor the bitters does anything to impede the true nature of the spirit. Fine by me…
So, for those who are still game, I present Arnaud’s Special Cocktail:
2 oz. Scotch (I chose Johnny Walker Red on Haigh’s recommendation)
1 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
3 dashes Orange Bitters (I chose Regan’s Orange Bitters)
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.