This recipe stopped me in my tracks as I was paging through my Beverage Alcohol Resource manual, and not just because the name of the drink is The Dreamy Dorini Smoky Martini—though that name is enough to give one pause.
I was surprised to find it, one, because it's a vodka cocktail and B.A.R. chieftains are not known for their endorsement of vodka, and, two, it's the creation of Pegu Club's Audrey Saunders, another non-vodka lover. With those twin endorsements, I felt I had to give it a spin. Here's the formula:
1/2 oz. Laphroaig 10-year Scotch or other peaty Scotch
2 oz. Vodka
2-3 drops Pernod.
Shake well over ice. Serve up in Martini glass with lemon twist.
Mighty particular on her scotch, isn't Audrey? Well, I didn't happen to have Laphroaig on hand. Truth to tell, I usually don't have more than two single malt scotches on hand at any given time. A bar, I ain't. So I used one of my favorites, Cragganmore, which is a Speyside, not an Islay like Laphroaig. So sue me. And, since the B.A.R. guide was published before there were so many absinthes on the market, I used Pernod's absinthe.
Anyway, I think Audrey has something here. You can impose any flavor on vodka, of course, and the mistake most mixologists make with the spirit is to smother it in flavors, usually fruit flavors, until you're not aware that they's liquor in the drink at all. That is not the case here. The scotch and Pernod accent the vodka, both in color and flavor. The drink is still clear, so you don't forget you have a white spirit in your hand. And the scotch and Pernod are in small enough amounts that the only suggest themselves, like a fog creeping in along the edges of an otherwise clear night.