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The Affinity, Swank Cocktail #2

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Affinity cocktail
Affinity cocktail

The Affinity is cocktail number two on the Swank Cocktail Guide.

Affinity cocktail history

A combination of Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and Angostura Bitters, the Affinity cocktail was developed in 1907 and attracted attention in newspapers across the United States.

Hugo R. Ensslin included the drink in his Recipes for Mixed Drinks (1916-1917) on page 6.

Affinity cocktail recipe

Cocktail #2: Affinity

1/3 Scotch Whisky, 1/3 Dry Vermouth, 1/3 Sweet Vermouth, 2 dashes Angostura Bitters, stir with ice, add Cherry and Lemon twist over glass.

Ingredients used:

  • Crown Royal Canadian Whisky
  • Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • Gallo Sweet Vermouth
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Cherry
  • Lemon twist
"New York Has a New Drink," newspaper article, The Danville Morning News (Danville, Pennsylvania), 9 Nov 1907, p. 1, col. 1.
“New York Has a New Drink,” newspaper article, The Danville Morning News (Danville, Pennsylvania), 9 Nov 1907, p. 1, col. 1.

Scotch Whisky vs Canadian Whisky and other whiskies

While in Scotland a few years back, we visited The Glenlivet Distillery in Speyside and it was one of the most delightful days we’ve experienced. The first leg of our journey began in Aviemore, where we traveled on the Strathspey Railway to the Broomhill (Glenbogle) railway station.

A chauffeured 1959 Bentley S2 awaited our arrival, whisking us away through the beautiful countryside to a tour and lunch at Glenlivet in Speyside.

On the Glenlivet visit, we were offered a great many drams to sample, some of which were quite old. As someone of more than 40% Scottish descent, I probably shouldn’t admit this but, we don’t like Scotch, so we took a few sips but mostly gave our drams to others. As a note of redemption, our driver, who was 100% Scottish, told us he didn’t drink Scotch either.

Glenlivet gave us a couple of bottles to bring home, but we gave them away to a Scotch drinker that we knew would enjoy and appreciate them (he did). So, for this drink we needed some whisky and, given the cool Crown Royal bottle we’d found from 1956, we decided to purchase Crown Royal Canadian whisky for the Affinity (we aren’t opening the vintage bottles we found).

What’s the difference between Scottish whisky, Canadian whisky, and other whiskies/whiskeys besides the obvious geographical origin? First, the spelling.

The spelling whisky, plural whiskies, is used in Scotland, Canada, Japan, and Wales. The spelling whiskey, plural whiskeys, is used in the United States and Ireland. Additional differences include the type of grain used, the production process, whether it is blended or single malt, the aging process, and, of course, the price.

Affinity cocktail review

Our ratings (1-5 🍸) Rating scale

Greg: 🍸🍸🍸
Kim: 🍸🍸🍸🍸

I had a bit more of an affinity for the Affinity than Greg, but we both liked the drink and were surprised at how it was light and refreshing. We plan to try this again in the future to compare the drink based on the type of whisky/whiskey used.

Next up… Cocktail #3, Alexander No. 1 (Brandy)

Swank Cocktail Guide: 80 cocktails in 80 days

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