‘Hoots Mon’ Cocktail Recipe
We follow trends and go through moods. As autumn hits, for instance, we’ve found ourselves frequently reaching for the Amaro Nonino; there’s just something about it’s caramel toned mild bitterness that says, ‘Fall, you’re alright,’ to us.
But as much as we’re creatures of the moment, we still do have our all-time personal favorites, perhaps chief among them being Cocchi Americano. And one of our all-time favorite recipes for this all-time favorite liquor is Hoots Mon.
Hoots Mon’s origins are, like many cocktail’s, shrouded in mystery. We don’t know who created it, or when. Unlike many of the classics, there aren’t even any mythical origin stories floating around, as far as we can tell. It just appears, without comment, in the famous 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book.
The name, apparently, is a Scottish–or rather faux-Scottish–exclamation. It’s like the Scottish version of ‘I pahked the cah in Harvahd Yahd,’ a phrase that you’d never hear an actual Bostonian say (not least because no one can or does park their car in Harvard Yard), but that somehow makes it on to all the tourist t-shirts. To whatever extent it has a meaning, it’s a general exclamation, along the lines of ‘Hey!’ but perhaps with a negative connotation, ‘I don’t think so!’
If I’ve captured the phrase correctly, it’s actually quite an apt name for this drink: a cocktail with a Scotch base, but used in a way to which a true Scot might say, ‘I don’t think so.’
Not being Scottish, we think it’s delicious. The smokiness of the Scotch is mellowed to just the right degree by the fruity sweetness of the sweet vermouth and brightened by the floral sweetness of the Cocchi. The original Savoy recipe, by the way, calls for Kina Lillet, not Cocchi. Kina Lillet is no longer made; so people turn to its younger quinquina cousins as substitutes. We generally prefer Cocchi’s drier, more floral flavor to the straightforward fruitiness of Lillet Blanc. Both would be good choices, though, as would a vermouth blanc.
- 1 1/2 oz decent blended Scotch–we like Johnnie Walker Red
- 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
- 3/4 oz Cocchi Americano–or Lillet Blanc, or a vermouth blanc
- Stir all with ice for 30 rotations.
- Strain into a cocktail glass and serve.