George Pieper

George Pieper

“The Vintage”

I love it when I discover a new cocktail that I have not tried. This one, “The Vintage”, is absolutely delicious! I am very fond of whiskeys, but as an American, I find that when I go for a drink at home the whiskey cocktails are mostly based on the booming whiskey/bourbon industry in the States. This is of course OK, and with good reason, there are amazing whiskeys, bourbons, and rye from the US and Canada. It seems anywhere you go these days there is a small batch variety you will find locally produced. America has a sweet tooth and our family of whiskeys generally reflect this flavor profile.


I find when I travel outside the US that I often reconnect with my love of Scotch and Irish whiskeys, which have a distinct flavor profile different from their American and Canadian cousins. There is an earthiness, with the flavors of the land it comes from. Moss, Heather, and the dryness of weathered stone is somehow infused into these whiskies giving them a distinction all their own. Since I discovered “The Vintage” in Mexico, the American standard whiskey was not the base of this cocktail. Instead, it is made with Glenfiddich Scotch Whisky. (Note: you are not seeing spelling mistakes whiskey with an “e” and whisky without are both correct spellings. Whiskey with an “e” is generally the preferred spelling for American and Irish made whiskey, while Scottish, Canadian, and Japanese Whisky generally drop the “e”, but enough of this nonsense.)

I always say that you should take the time to savor ingredients unadulterated on their own so that you can truly appreciate them when their flavor comes through in any combination. Side story – I was in Singapore many years ago before I developed a taste for Scotch Whisky. I was in this really high-end restaurant celebrating my birthday. They had this fancy bar where a gal was strung up on wires at the ready to sore into the air to retrieve an expensive bottle of vintage wine from a marvelous three-story glass-enclosed cellar. Talk about your parlor tricks, this was a glamourous place. The bar appeared to have everything on the shelves. So I ordered one of my favorite go-to cocktails, a classic Manhattan. Being a typical ego-centric American at the time, my expectation was to enjoy a cool Bourbon cocktail with a cherry or two. Nope! One sip and I knew what I ordered was made wrong or I should say, that was my presumption. I sent the drink back and asked for another. It came back the same. The waiter brought the bottle to assure me it was made right. It was made with their best Scotch Whisky, he lamented. Looking back, I am ashamed of my behavior. This is one where I wished I had a do-over, but I’ve chalked it up to a learning experience. I was in Asia after all, why did I expect this drink to be what I am used to at home? I wasn’t at McDonald’s or in the other American Embassy – Starbucks, where they sell that type of consistency. Why was I not trying something new, like a specialty of the house, or changing my attitude to enjoy this Manhattan made with a twist I had not tried before? Fortunately, I have changed my ways to enjoy unexpected experiences with a new mindset in place. As they say, “change your attitude, change your life”! I think this is so true on so many levels.


Getting back to the fabulous cocktail at hand. When I saw the menu and the ingredients for this drink, realizing I was again in a foreign country celebrating my birthday, I knew I was going to get my do-over! While this drink is not a Manhattan, it has all the elements with extras, including Scotch Whisky! I knew I had to have one. This time, I was looking forward to tasting the Scotch Whisky in this drink. It was lovely, I believe I had three of them. Yum! This cocktail was found at La Cantina Restaurant at the Vidanta Resorts in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico. I tend to like things less sweet, but this cocktail combination was the perfect accompaniment to the spicy pork belly tacos and offered a cooling effect to the sultry tropical heat. There are no measurements here, but I definitely recommend trying this at home. Play with these ingredients until it delights your palate.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

1 thought on ““The Vintage””

Comments are closed.