The affinity cocktail is an old-school style drink with no fruity liqueurs or fancy herbs. Created in the early 1900s after a broadway play, however, the exact performance is unknown.
This drink is a mixture of Scotch, sweet & dry vermouth, and bitters. Since we are in Texas, I am using a single malt whiskey, not a scotch. The clarification is that Scotch is only produced in Scotland.
For the affinity cocktail, I chose the Pfluger Single Malt. The Texas whiskey made at Spirit of Texas Brewstillery in Pflugerville. A two-time gold buckle winner at the Texas Whiskey Festival is 80% malted barley and 20% rye.
For us, the nose has banana, fresh bread, a little citrus, and woody sweetness. The palate carries the same bread notes. With apple, a little vanilla before a subtle black pepper and wood spice fade into the distance.
This combination plays well with the grapey wine-like flavors from the vermouth. The first versions use equal parts whiskey and vermouth. In our test, that produced a dry bitter drink. Using more whiskey and less vermouth creates a better-balanced cocktail for me.
Some people have switched to orange bitters, but I kept to the Angostura to highlight the sweet and spice.
The affinity cocktail with the Pfluger Single Malt is light on the nose. The vermouth comes in strong before the whiskey makes an appearance. It has a quick finish of light wine, smoke, and oak notes.
- 2.25 oz single malt whiskey
- .5 oz sweet vermouth
- .5 oz dry vermouth
- A few dashes of Angostura bitters
- Optional garnish is a lemon twist
How to make the affinity cocktail
Combine the whiskey, vermouth, and bitters into a cocktail mixer with ice. Stir well to chill. Strain into a chilled glass. Some prefer a coupe or martini glass, but a rocks glass works well. Garnish with a lemon twist.