Cocktail of the Week: Hopscotch

Cocktail of the Week: Hopscotch

A new recipe from master mixologist Michael Cecconi, with cucumber-infused Scotch, hop-flavoured vodka and homemade lime cordial

News | 19 Nov 2021

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Michael Cecconi, who hails from San Antonio, Texas, lives in Oakland, California, and considers New York City to be his true home, is a bartender and mixologist who teaches his craft at virtual and in-person events, while also running his own pre-mixed cocktail business, M Squared Spirits. We asked him to come up with a unique cocktail recipe, specially for our readers.

Michael explains the thinking behind the drink: “Hopscotch is a children’s game, and I bring a little playfulness to this drink… What’s my game? Encouraging more people drink whisky.”

“I’ve found that certain key words, such as ‘cucumber’, ‘vodka’, and ‘lime’, can sell a cocktail – especially one this flavourful,” he says. “In this complex three-ingredient drink, I marry the cucumber with the whisky, use hop-infused vodka, and add a homemade lime syrup. The dried lime wheel adds a touch of grace.”

Michael believes Scotch whisky cocktails can open up new possibilities for both a whisky-drinking audience and a cocktail maker like him. “Drinking spirits in a cocktail is a different experience to a neat dram. If I can show someone how to enjoy Scotch in a cocktail, then all of a sudden, both our worlds have expanded. My guest will consider whisky cocktails in the future, and I can offer more great whisky experiences knowing that I have an open-minded audience.”

Find Michael on Instagram.


The Hopscotch


Ingredients

1.5 oz/45 ml cucumber-infused blended Scotch whisky*
1 oz/30 ml Anchor Distilling Hophead vodka
¾ oz/25 ml lime cordial**
Dried lime wheel garnish

Method

1. Chill a Rocks glass and have lime wheel garnish on hand.
2. Measure and pour whisky, vodka, and cordial into a shaker.
3. Add ice to the shaker, shake, and strain into the glass.
4. Garnish with the lime wheel.

*Cucumber whisky
1 English cucumber (or 3 Kirby/Persian cucumbers)
1 litre blended Scotch whisky

1. Peel cucumber(s), and cut them into 1-inch chunks.
2. Puree cucumbers and whisk thoroughly.
3. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.
4. Bottle and store in the refrigerator.

This infused whisky is best if used within 2 weeks. Try it in your favorite whisky cocktail!

**Lime Cordial
1 pint/500 ml fresh lime juice
1 cup/250 ml sugar

1. Boil the lime juice and reduce by half.
2. While reduced juice is still hot, add the sugar.
3. Stir until sugar dissolves.
4. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.
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