Friday, November 12, 2010

Vieux Szaffa Cocktail for TDN:Scaffa

Yesterday's TDN theme was "Scaffa".  What's scaffa you ask?  I too had no idea, but apparently it is simply a drink stirred WITH NO ICE.  Probably consisting of a spirit, a liqueur, and some bitters.  The liqueur is likely Bénédictine, but maybe Maraschino, or maybe Chartreuse.  Or perhaps something else, it's unclear.  But I was intrigued by the idea, and tried my hand.  I like what my hand did.  I opted to stick with the most traditional Bénédictine, which made my mind wander to the Vieux Carré.  I figured I'd use rye as the base spirit, but zigged to Cognac when I considered that a Brandy Scaffa is one of the most cited of the class of drinks.  I wandered into my office where I keep my Scotches, Amaros, and other sippers due to overflow of my main area, as I reached for my Cognac my hand grabbed the Calvados to move it out of the way, and I thought that it would make a nice addition to keep things a bit lighter and add an extra dimension of flavor.  In my mind, the Vieux Carré is closely associated with the Sazerac, and since Cognac was the original base of the latter dink, I thought I'd borrow some of its accouterments and make a Vieux Carré-Sazerac-Scaffa mash up.  Thus the generous Peychaud's and dash of absinthe.  I tasted it without the absinthe, and while not bad, the addition really tied it together and made it sing.
Vieux Szaffa
  • ¾ oz Hennessy VSOP Cognac (or sub brandy)
  • ¾ oz Calvados
  • ½ oz Bénédictine
  • ¼ oz Peychaud's
  • dash absinthe
stir in cocktail glass, NO ICE
The drink surprisingly does not hurt for lack of ice.  Not that ice would be bad, but I was surprised I didn't miss it.  It was a nice sipper with deep flavors, some edgy notes from the large dose of Peychaud's, and a nice mouthful and warmth lent by the Bénédictine.


  1. Fantastic. Would make a good "flask" cocktail.

  2. Indeed, I'll have to remember that next time an occasion for a flask arises.


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