2 oz Speyside Scotch, Macallan 12
1⁄2 oz Drambuie
1⁄2 oz Cynar
1 1⁄2 bsp Amer Picon (Torani Amer, see notes)

Stir, strain, old fashioned with one large ice cube, no garnish.


I unfortunately don't have Amer Picon but I used Torani Amer, which is what I recommend here. I believe this is a great introduction cocktail to single malt scotch. The honey and herbs pair well with the smooth sherry tones and finish with Macallan and the bitter sweet orange of Amer. Cynar provides the earthy bitter to round out the finish.


The name is a play on the Rusty Nail, from which the inspiration for this cocktail was birthed.

Cocktail summary
Picture of Tooth & Nail
2011 Kindred Cocktails
Created by
Scott Diaz, Seattle, WA
Is the
author's original creation
Not yet rated
4 stars
(3 ratings)
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  • Scotch- bitter, herbal?
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Somehow, the name "Tooth & Nail" doesn't quite describe this drink, because it's overall taste is somewhat soft & sweet. Maybe that should be its name. I didn't have Macallan 12, but I did have Glenlivet 12, also a Speyside scotch. I also had Amer Picon (I purchased it by mail from England for a dear penny). But I would not rate this drink at 5.0, as one person did. After a lot thought and many sips, I rated the "Tooth & Tail" somewhere between 3.0 and 3.5.

Why? First, the whisky was overwhelmed by the Drambuie and (believe it or not) the Peach bitters. The Cynar probably had some, but not much, responsibility. The drink definitely has a sweetness to it, but it's not cloy. The Amer Picon and the peach bitters, and to some extent the Drambuie, were the bad boys here. Only a slight bitterness, from the Cynar no doubt.

My overall thoughts about the "Tooth & Tail?" It's a middling Scotch cocktail that needs some changes to bring out its better qualities. My first suggestion is to use only one dash of peach bitters. I would reduce the Dambuie slightly, and the Cynar, too. The Amer Picon --maybe make it two barspoons. And I would definitly up the Scotch to 2 1/2 oz. Now that I've suggested some significant changes, I will make them and see if there is any improvement in the "Tooth & Tail" cocktail. If not, then I leave it to others to improve this cocktail--if it can be improved. </p>