This post was written by guest contributor Andy Carr.

Andy writes, “While I most often enjoy Scotch neat (or with a slight addition of Drambuie), I’m a sucker for a nice, balanced, fruit-inspired cocktail.  This one, called Presbyterian Revenge, is delicious. 

I was curious about Cynar (pronounced chee-NAR).  It’s a bitter liqueur made from various herbs and plants, the most prominent being artichoke.   The bitterness is offset by the citrus from the lemon juice and grapefruit bitters.

By the way, the Revenge is so named because Cynar comes from Italy, a Catholic country.

This recipe calls for Black Grouse, a blended Scotch whiskey which is affordable as a mixer and brings a moderate smokiness to the drink. I used The Famous Grouse in the picture above, because that’s what I happened to have on hand. Both siblings are delicious in this drink.”

Patti writes, “This drink is based on the recipe for Presbyterian Revenge on the Serious Eats website. Proportions have been changed to accommodate Mr. Carrs’ personal taste.

Special thanks to our brother-in-law Rick for introducing us to yet another weird and wonderful drink. Keep them coming. The resident mixologist is having a great time experimenting with some of the unusual ingredients found in these recipes. Maybe someday he may even forgive me for purchasing a bottle of banana liqueur that I only used once 15 years ago. I can only hope.”

  • 1.5 oz. Scotch, preferable The Black Grouse or The Famous Grouse  
  • .5 oz. Cynar (the standard recipe calls for .75 ounce; I prefer slightly less)
  • .25 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • .25 oz. simple syrup (see recipe below)
  • 2 dashes grapefruit bitters (I use Fee Brothers)
  • ice
  • club soda

Pour the Scotch, Cynar, lemon juice, simple syrup, and grapefruit bitters into a shaker. Add ice to about one third up the side of the shaker. Shake and strain the liquid into a rocks or highball glass* and add 5-6 ice cubes. Top with a splash of club soda.

Note: The standard recipe specifies a grapefruit twist as a garnish – I haven’t tried this.

*An Old Fashioned or “rocks” glass is a short tumbler with a wide brim and a thick base.  A “highball” glass (pictured above) is cylindrical in shape and narrower and taller than an Old Fashioned glass, but shorter than a Tom Collins glass.

Simple Syrup

  • 1 part water
  • 1 part granulated sugar

In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Store covered in the refrigerator.



Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks