Oban is a place I visited a few times and they make a fine malt, that sometimes gets called an island due to the saltiness of having you distillery on the sea front. The tasting notes for the Oban are smoke,honey,salt,orange in no particular order. This and a recent reading of Embury gave me an idea, could I boost the flavours & smooth out the alcohol ?
Ingredients, The Oban 14yr old, its quite easy to find as its one of "the six classic malts". I find it a gentle whisky that won't really offend or scare anyone. A medium lapsang (this is actually from a Dutch tea merchant :- Simon Levelt ,who als supplied the smoked Earl Grey for the Picard). Some local honey. Hoppe's orange bitters.Finally some good sea salt (I think this is Kosher salt for US readers).
Since I drink a fair amount of loose tea I have tea filters (DIY tea bags) around, that makes the infusion a bit easier. The colour of the Oban doesn't really change dramatically during the infusion, so keep an eye (and a taste on it, we don't want it to get bitter). The lapsang and the Oban go well together the earthy lapsang is up at the front, the whisky filling in the body behind, but still on the fierce side. How though would it be best to bring it together. My first thought was a Manhattan variation, since it's a versatile classic, but I was worried the vermouth would overpower the notes I wanted. Then it dawned on me, bitters, sugar & whisky, that is an old-fashioned.
Tea for two a modern twist on an old fashioned.
A couple of flakes of sea salt go in the bottom of your glass (I couldn't resist the glass tea cups, sorry). (as an aside, I'm quite sensitive to salt, you might want to up to maybe a half pinch) Put a half bar spoon of honey in & then add a couple of spoons of orange bitters, stir/muddle the salt & honey into the bitters, splash in some of the tea infused whisky & a couple-3 ice cubes. Stir/muddle till everything is dissolved. Add more whisky to the depth you or your drinkers enjoy, stir a bit more and then remove the ice cubes. Put a fresh ice cube into each glass, pare off a bit of orange zest and then squeeze (flame if you like or are trying to impress) to get the oils onto the surface of the drink, and drop into the glass as decoration.
What you should get is a boosted Oban that is smoothed out and notched back from its usual fierceness.