(So named because it makes use of Cynar from Italy, a Catholic nation.) It's a refreshing and bitter drink of Glenrothes Select shaken with the artichoke liqueur, lemon, and a sparing splash of simple syrup. The grapefruit really comes through—you might think there's juice in it—but it's just the oils and bitters, resulting in a grapefruity cocktail that's not at all juicelogged. Great for fans of bitters who want something a little smoother than an aperitif on the rocks.
McCarthy affectionately refers to this one as the "Smoky Smoky," although by my count, you could tack on a few more iterations—smoky smoky smoky?
Scotch and Fidencio mezcal blend with dark agave and orange and chocolate bitters, with a spritz of hyper-smoky Ardbeg 10-year, plus a mighty twist of flamed grapefruit. "I wanted take these two amazing terroir-driven spirits and make them work together. Not just, like, kill you." The powerful aroma of burnt grapefruit oils hit you on the nose, but the cocktail is smooth and plenty drinkable, various smoky elements blending rather than overwhelming.
Scotch Hot Toddy
"I didn't invent this one," quips McCarthy. His version makes use of AnCnoc 12-year single malt, with a squirt of honey syrup (honey cut with hot water for smoother mixing), a wedge's squeeze of lemon, and to garnish, cinnamon, star anise, allspice berries, and a coin of orange peel studded with whole cloves. On first sip the steam brings with it orange oils and warming spice, the sort of thing you could happily bury your nose in for awhile without bothering to take a sip. (You get around to that sip eventually, of course.)
McCarthy's take on a Manhattan makes use of green chartreuse; AnCnoc 12-year single malt is stirred with Carpano Antica ("the more savory of the sweet vermouths"), a half-ounce of green chartreuse, and a good measure of ice. "I want about half an ounce of ice melt to really open up these heavy hitters, Scotch and chartreuse. Let it cook in the glass for awhile."
Bonnie Prince Charlie
It's a sparkler for sure, but on the dry side, crisp Veuve Ambal Brut blanc de blancs with Drambuie (there's the Scotch tie-in), St. Germain (which McCarthy calls "liquid MSG"), and a twist of lemon. Drop in the lemon pith side up and it'll bubble effusively for minutes on end.
Lady of the Lake
Heather-infused vodka "picks up the heather notes of Scotch," with honey, lemon, and housemade lavender bitters; it's light and refreshing, a big twist of lemon on top bringing the brightness of citrus. "The first experience you get of a cocktail is a nose. You need a huge twist." It's one of their top sellers, among both men and women, feminine though its name may sound. "Some guys might not order it because 'Lady' is in the title—but, dude, do you know the story? She fixes his sword. This is a really phallic drink, bro."