Smoky Grail – an Original Cocktail with Peated Scotch Whisky, Singani, Benedictine & Coffee Liqueur

This original drink uses Scotch whisky, Singani, Benedictine, Coffee Liqueur and an Orange Twist for garnish. If a Black Watch ( and a Smoky Grove ( had a baby, it would be this drink.

It definitely makes some noise with the smoky flavors, but the other ingredients help rein it in a bit. Usually with smoky flavors, it’s the finish that makes it burn and by pulling it to the center with some of the other, earthy and sweet flavors, it takes the sting out of the campfire taste. There’s a lot going on flavor-wise. It’s hard to keep up. Every time you get your bearings on a flavor, it switches gears. The bright citrus notes are first out of the gate, then it’s bonfire, soft fruit, graham cracker, a touch of chocolatey coffee and big honey finish.

For the smoky Scotch, you wanna use something that has a great big throaty cloud of smoke running through the whisky like a chimney. I’m using The Peat Monster, which is a vatted malt or blended malt, but if you want to use an Ardbeg or Laiphroiag or Bowmore or some other beefy Islay single malt, go for it. You can also try using a strongly peated blend like Johnnie Double Black or Great King Street Glasgow Blend or Black Grouse, but something like Black Grouse may not be quite as powerful enough in the smoke department. You definitely want to get that note from the drink and something like the Black Grouse may not be loud enough to be heard.

Singani, one of Bolivia’s best kept secrets for centuries, is an eau de vie from the Bolivian Alps and has only been available in Bolivia for most of its existence. Luckily for the rest of the world, Singani is becoming available with brands like Rujero, Los Parrales and Singani 63. The choice of Singani is up to you. You want to get complex the fruity/floral sweetness from it.

The heavy lifting of the sweetness comes from the Benedictine, an herbal liqueur made with a secret collection of spices and honey, that was originally formulated over 500 years ago by Benedictine monks. It’s certainly one of my favorite liqueurs, used in drinks like the Vieux Carré ( and the Irish Old Fashioned ( and the Southland ( It’s definitely a spirit you want to have on hand. Just be sure you get Benedictine and not B&B (which is in the same bottle with a different label) because B&B is a pre-made cocktail. A bottle of Benedictine should last you quite a while because most recipes call for so little of it and this one is no exception.

The coffee liqueur is up to you. I’m using the NOLA coffee liqueur from St. George, which is one of the least sweet coffee liqueurs out there. It probably wouldn’t hurt to use a sweeter coffee liqueur, but I certainly prefer it this way. I’m a big fan of cold brew and this liqueur is pretty much a spiked cold brew. It’s made with the coffee drinker in mind. They make it from a combination of coffee and chicory that is cold brewed in 95% alcohol then mixed in a 4:1 ratio with regular coffee and chicory cold brew (with water) then lightly sweetened.

The coup de grâce on this drink is the orange twist. The bright citrus notes really change the profile of the drink. It’s a lot more smooth, rounded and balanced with the twist. Make them back-to-back, one with a twist and one without. You’ll see the world of difference. See if you don’t agree.

This cocktail was named with the help from the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers. So a big thanks to all of those who voted. As the knight at the end of Indiana Jones 3 says, you have chosen wisely. Cheers!

2 oz smoky Scotch
0.75 oz Singani
0.5 oz Benedictine
0.25 oz Coffee Liqueur
Orange Twist

Stir with ice. Strain over large cube into rocks glass. Garnish with orange twist.

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Featured in This Drink:

The Peat Monster

Rujero Singani


St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur

Bowmore Bourbon Cask

Laphroaig 10-Year

Great King St. Glasgow Blend

The Black Grouse

Singani 63

Bar Tools:

Rocks Glass

OXO SteeL Double Jigger


Vegetable Peeler

Hawthorne Strainer

Mixing Glass

Studio Neat Clear Ice Kit


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