The Drunk Uncle

Boston Massacre

Your cocktail calendar entry for: March
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Greetings drunkards and drunkards in training.  It’s March 5 and that means it’s the anniversary of The Boston Massacre.  Or what the British apparently call the Incident on King Street.  It’s a whisky cocktail.  No “e” in that spelling, we’re using Scotch and only American or Irish whiskey is spelled with the e.  But we digress, and today we’ll explore the Boston Massacre and the Drunk Uncle cocktail.

As the story goes, on March 5, 1770 a boisterous crowd gathered around and relentlessly taunted a British sentry outside the Boston Custom House on King Street.  It was a cold, snowy night so it’s likely many were drinking.  After all, what else was there to do but sit and drink in front of a public house’s fireplace during a cold Boston winter night?

Anyway, the situation degenerated and eventually the sentry, joined by other soldiers, fired their muskets into the crowd.  This was not good and people died.  So in remembrance of this event the Drink of the Day is the Drunk Uncle.  No direct historical connection to whisky, but Scotland is close to at least one participant and for your correspondent that’s good enough since it’s a tasty drink.  Of course, if paying tribute to a massacre makes you uncomfortable there’s always the Boston Molassacre, or Great Molasses Flood.  For that we recommend the Boston Rum Punch.


Drunk Uncle cocktail

Drunk Uncle

The Drunk Uncle we’re considering here is credited to Shawn Soole of Clive’s Classic Cocktail Lounge in Victoria, British Columbia. Shawn is originally from Australia but ultimately settled in BC where he became famous behind the stick (that means as a bartender for you drunkards in training) and ultimately became an industry consultant, founding Soole Hospitality Concepts. But onward to the mixing. This one is dead simple, using ordinary household supplies in the magic 2:1:1 ratio you should by now know by heart.
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  • oz Islay Scotch like Bowmore or Laphroaig, you want something with a lot of peat
  • ¾ oz Bianco Vermouth
  • ¾ oz Cynar
  • Garnish: grapefruit twist


  • Add all ingredients to your trusty mixing glass.
  • Add ice and stir to chill.
  • Strain into chilled coupe.
  • Garnish with grapefruit twist.
  • Drink.
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