We have an excellent local bar called Hamlet & Ghost where I was introduced to the Don Lockwood, a cocktail combining rye-heavy bourbon and smoky Islay Scotch. (Don Lockwood is the character Gene Kelly plays in Singin’ in the Rain; you would need to go to the Dutch Kills bar in Long Island City, where this drink originated, to find out the connection.) Loved it, but felt there was something missing. Aha: add a leaf of a bitter aromatic, muddled as for a mint julep. Check it out.
1 oz good bourbon (I used Evan Williams)
1 oz peaty Scotch (H&G used Laphroaig, I used something proprietary; don’t overthink this because smoke is more important than refinement)
Squirt of bitters
1 t maple syrup (Grade B preferred)
1 shiso leaf or 3 mint leaves plus more for garnish
Meyer lemon or orange zest for garnish
Method: muddle herb leaves with syrup and bitters. Add alcohol and mix thoroughly. Add ice, garnish and serve.