Affinity Cocktail Drink

Affinity

Are you looking for a simple, yet fancy pre-dinner drink? You’ll love this easy-to-make Affinity Cocktail recipe! It’s a flavorful drink that’s sure to impress.

Affinity Cocktail Recipe

Start your dinner party the perfect way with this uncomplicated Affinity Cocktail recipe! Its mix of Scotch whisky, vermouth, and Angostura aromatic bitters creates the perfect beverage to start the night with style and sophistication.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

174 kl

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Scotch Whisky
  • 1 oz sweet Vermouth
  • 1 oz dry Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Lemon twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Start by putting ice cubes in your cocktail glass. Set it aside.
  • Add Bitters: In the mixing glass, pour 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters.
  • Add Sweet Vermouth: Add 1 oz sweet Vermouth to the stirring glass.
  • Add Dry Vermouth: Add 1 oz dry Vermouth to the stirring glass.
  • Add Scotch Whisky: Measure out and pour 1 oz Scotch Whisky of your choice into the mix.
  • Add the ice and stir: Fill the stirring glass with ice cubes and stir the ingredients well (15-20 times).
  • Strain: Discard the ice cubes in the cocktail glass. Once there is no ice left inside, strain the mixture into your chilled glass.
  • Garnish: Garnish with a lemon twist.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Scotch Whisky: If you don't have Scotch whisky on hand, you can use bourbon or rye whiskey instead. Both will give the cocktail a different flavor profile but still work well with the other ingredients. Regarding the brands, feel free to experiment with any Scotch whisky of your choice!
  • Sweet Vermouth: Although the Italian, bitter kind of vermouths are the best match here, you can use any kind of red vermouth for this recipe. You can also try and use a mix of ½ oz sweet (or red) vermouth and ½ oz of amaro for a more complex and bitter version of this drink.
  • Dry Vermouth: For this recipe, a French dry vermouth would be my first choice but don’t worry if you don’t have any on hand: any kind of white vermouth can do the trick.
  • Angostura Bitters: If you don't have Angostura bitters, orange bitters can be an alternative. They have a different flavor profile but will still add complexity to the cocktail. If you don’t have any bitter available, just skip this step altogether.

Making a Pitcher of Affinity Cocktail:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 8 oz of Scotch whisky, 8 oz of sweet vermouth, 8 oz of dry vermouth, and 16 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and orange bitters. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into individual chilled cocktail glasses, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic: 

  • Scotch Whisky Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic whisky substitute; several brands are available that mimic the smoky flavor of Scotch.
  • Vermouth Substitute: For sweet and dry vermouth, you can use non-alcoholic versions or make a simple syrup infused with herbs and spices to mimic the flavors. In that case, use a little less than the original recipe mentions (½ ounce should do the trick). Your cocktail may otherwise get too sweet.
  • Angostura Bitters: To give the drink its spicy undertones and make it more complex, you can still use bitters in this non-alcoholic version if you wish, as 2 dashes of bitter in an otherwise alcohol-free drink won’t raise the overall ABV of the drink. The drink will indeed chemically contain a drop of alcohol, but won’t make you intoxicated at all. Depending on your reason for not drinking alcohol and your degree of tolerance on the topic, this can be a suitable option. If not, of course, you can simply omit the bitters completely.

Making it Vegan:

The Affinity Cocktail is naturally vegan as it contains no animal products. However, always check your ingredients' labels to ensure they're vegan-friendly. Some brands may use animal products in their production process.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
174
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
6
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
9
g
3
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Potassium
 
54
mg
2
%
Protein
 
0.2
g
0
%
Calcium
 
4
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.2
mg
1
%

 

Affinity Cocktail Drink

Affinity Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
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Start your dinner party the perfect way with this uncomplicated Affinity Cocktail recipe! Its mix of Scotch whisky, vermouth, and Angostura aromatic bitters creates the perfect beverage to start the night with style and sophistication.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 174

Ingredients
 

  • 1 oz Scotch Whisky
  • 1 oz sweet Vermouth
  • 1 oz dry Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Lemon twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Start by putting ice cubes in your cocktail glass. Set it aside.
  • Add Bitters: In the mixing glass, pour 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters.
  • Add Sweet Vermouth: Add 1 oz sweet Vermouth to the stirring glass.
  • Add Dry Vermouth: Add 1 oz dry Vermouth to the stirring glass.
  • Add Scotch Whisky: Measure out and pour 1 oz Scotch Whisky of your choice into the mix.
  • Add the ice and stir: Fill the stirring glass with ice cubes and stir the ingredients well (15-20 times).
  • Strain: Discard the ice cubes in the cocktail glass. Once there is no ice left inside, strain the mixture into your chilled glass.
  • Garnish: Garnish with a lemon twist.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Scotch Whisky: If you don't have Scotch whisky on hand, you can use bourbon or rye whiskey instead. Both will give the cocktail a different flavor profile but still work well with the other ingredients. Regarding the brands, feel free to experiment with any Scotch whisky of your choice!
  • Sweet Vermouth: Although the Italian, bitter kind of vermouths are the best match here, you can use any kind of red vermouth for this recipe. You can also try and use a mix of ½ oz sweet (or red) vermouth and ½ oz of amaro for a more complex and bitter version of this drink.
  • Dry Vermouth: For this recipe, a French dry vermouth would be my first choice but don’t worry if you don’t have any on hand: any kind of white vermouth can do the trick.
  • Angostura Bitters: If you don't have Angostura bitters, orange bitters can be an alternative. They have a different flavor profile but will still add complexity to the cocktail. If you don’t have any bitter available, just skip this step altogether.

Making a Pitcher of Affinity Cocktail:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 8 oz of Scotch whisky, 8 oz of sweet vermouth, 8 oz of dry vermouth, and 16 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and orange bitters. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into individual chilled cocktail glasses, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic: 

  • Scotch Whisky Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic whisky substitute; several brands are available that mimic the smoky flavor of Scotch.
  • Vermouth Substitute: For sweet and dry vermouth, you can use non-alcoholic versions or make a simple syrup infused with herbs and spices to mimic the flavors. In that case, use a little less than the original recipe mentions (½ ounce should do the trick). Your cocktail may otherwise get too sweet.
  • Angostura Bitters: To give the drink its spicy undertones and make it more complex, you can still use bitters in this non-alcoholic version if you wish, as 2 dashes of bitter in an otherwise alcohol-free drink won’t raise the overall ABV of the drink. The drink will indeed chemically contain a drop of alcohol, but won’t make you intoxicated at all. Depending on your reason for not drinking alcohol and your degree of tolerance on the topic, this can be a suitable option. If not, of course, you can simply omit the bitters completely.

Making it Vegan:

The Affinity Cocktail is naturally vegan as it contains no animal products. However, always check your ingredients' labels to ensure they're vegan-friendly. Some brands may use animal products in their production process.

What is an Affinity Cocktail?

An Affinity Cocktail is a whisky-based classic cocktail made of Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and Angostura bitters. This drink is stirred with ice before being strained into a chilled glass and garnished, typically with a cherry or lemon twist.

The preparation process for an Affinity Cocktail can be considered moderately difficult due to the precision required in balancing its ingredients and reaching the right temperature and dilution. The use of both sweet and dry vermouth necessitates careful measurement to ensure neither overpowers the distinctive smoky flavor of the Scotch whisky.

Interestingly enough, despite having its own unique identity within mixology circles, the Affinity cocktail is often seen as a variant of other well-known cocktails like the Manhattan because they share similar ingredient lists, methods of preparation, and overall balance.

A side shot of an Affinity cocktail in a cocktail glass on a wooden tray on a wooden table surrounded by a grey cloth, and a jigger

What is an Affinity Cocktail made of – The ingredients

These are the ingredients you need to create an Affinity Cocktail: 

  • Scotch Whisky: The base spirit of the Affinity cocktail, it provides a robust and woody flavor.
  • Sweet Vermouth: Adds a sweet, herbal complexity to balance the strong character of the whisky.
  • Dry Vermouth: Contributes a lighter, more floral note to contrast with the richness of the other ingredients.
  • Angostura Aromatic Bitters: Enhances the warm and spicy undertones in the cocktail and adds a subtle bitterness to round out the sweetness.
  • Lemon Twist: Used as a garnish, it imparts a fresh citrus aroma that complements the overall flavor profile and balances it with a hint of freshness.

Scotch Whisky, sweet Vermouth, dry Vermouth, and Angostura aromatic bitters laid out on a white bar table

How do you make an Affinity Cocktail?

Create a perfect Affinity Cocktail by following our simple instructions:

1
<p>Begin by filling a cocktail glass (coupe style) with ice. Set it aside.</p>

Begin by filling a cocktail glass (coupe style) with ice. Set it aside.

2
<p>Pour 2 dashes of Angostura bitters into the mixing glass.</p>

Pour 2 dashes of Angostura bitters into the mixing glass.

3
<p>Add 1 ounce of sweet vermouth to the mixing glass. Sweet vermouth is a fortified wine that adds a touch of sweetness and complexity to the cocktail.</p>

Add 1 ounce of sweet vermouth to the mixing glass. Sweet vermouth is a fortified wine that adds a touch of sweetness and complexity to the cocktail.

4
<p>Follow this with one ounce of dry vermouth. The dry vermouth will help balance the drink by adding a crisp and refreshing element.</p>

Follow this with one ounce of dry vermouth. The dry vermouth will help balance the drink by adding a crisp and refreshing element.

5
<p>Pour 1 ounce of Scotch whisky into the mixing glass. The Scotch whisky forms the base of the Affinity cocktail, providing a rich flavor that the other ingredients will then balance out.</p>

Pour 1 ounce of Scotch whisky into the mixing glass. The Scotch whisky forms the base of the Affinity cocktail, providing a rich flavor that the other ingredients will then balance out.

6
<p>Fill the stirring glass with ice cubes.</p>

Fill the stirring glass with ice cubes.

7
<p>Stir the ingredients together in the mixing glass. Use a long-handled bar spoon (15-20 times). Stirring, rather than shaking, helps maintain the drink's clarity and prevents the ingredients from becoming overly diluted.</p>

Stir the ingredients together in the mixing glass. Use a long-handled bar spoon (15-20 times). Stirring, rather than shaking, helps maintain the drink's clarity and prevents the ingredients from becoming overly diluted.

8
<p>Take the cocktail glass and discard the ice inside. Then, strain the cocktail into the chilled glass. Use a cocktail strainer to hold back the ice as you pour the drink into the glass.</p>

Take the cocktail glass and discard the ice inside. Then, strain the cocktail into the chilled glass. Use a cocktail strainer to hold back the ice as you pour the drink into the glass.

9
<p>Finally, garnish the cocktail with a twist of lemon. To make a lemon twist, cut a thin slice of lemon peel, twist it over the glass to release its oils, and drop it into the drink.</p>

Finally, garnish the cocktail with a twist of lemon. To make a lemon twist, cut a thin slice of lemon peel, twist it over the glass to release its oils, and drop it into the drink.

History and Origin of the Affinity Cocktail

The Affinity cocktail is one of those vintage, legendary drinks with an evolutive (and quite nebulous) history. It seems like the first recorded mention of the Affinity Cocktail appears in “Stuart’s Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them”, published in 1904. However, there is a debate about this origin as some sources also point out a 1907 article in a New York local newspaper as the first official mention of the drink.

According to this second theory, the drink, born on Broadway and certainly named after one of the plays that was playing there at that time, contained “one medium teaspoon of powdered sugar, one dash of orange bitters, one jigger of Scotch whisky and half a jigger of Italian vermouth”.

After that, in 1908, the drink also appeared in William T. Boothby’s “The World’s Drink and how to mix them”… In yet quite a different version, starring French vermouth and creme de violette in addition to the other ingredients.

Over time, the Affinity Cocktail evolved. Some bartenders began to tweak the ratios of the ingredients to suit their patrons’ tastes and to follow the trends and tastes of their time. Others added new elements like a lemon twist or cherry garnish. Despite these changes, the core components remained the same, preserving the original spirit of the cocktail.

The version we know today and choose to expose in this article is the one presented by Jacob A. Didier in his “The Reminder Bartenders’ Vest Pocket Guide”, published in 1909.

An Affinity cocktail, shot from above, in a cocktail glass on a beige surface surrounded by Scotch Whisky, sweet Vermouth, dry Vermouth, and Angostura aromatic bitters

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FAQ

How many calories does an Affinity cocktail contain?
An Affinity cocktail typically contains around 200 calories. However, this can vary slightly depending on the specific brands of alcohol used and the exact measurements.
How strong is an Affinity cocktail?
The strength of an Affinity cocktail can vary based on the ratio of ingredients used. Generally, it has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of about 20-25%, translating to 40-50 proof. This makes it a moderately strong cocktail.
What type of alcohol is used in an Affinity cocktail?
An Affinity cocktail uses three types of alcohol: Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, and dry vermouth. Some recipes also include a dash of Angostura bitters for added flavor complexity.
In what kind of glass is an Affinity cocktail served?
An Affinity cocktail is traditionally served in a chilled martini or coupe glass. This helps maintain the temperature and enhances the overall drinking experience.
What does an Affinity cocktail taste like?
An Affinity cocktail offers a complex blend of flavors. The Scotch whisky provides a woody and robust base, while the sweet and dry vermouths add herbal and fruity notes. The dash of Angostura bitters introduce a hint of spice and help the drink last longer in mouth.
What is the ratio of ingredients in an Affinity cocktail?
The classic ratio for an Affinity cocktail is 1:1:1, meaning equal parts Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, and dry vermouth. However, some variations adjust this ratio to emphasize one ingredient over the others.
How is an Affinity cocktail served with ice?
An Affinity cocktail is typically stirred with ice to chill it, then strained into a chilled glass without ice (also known as serving "up", or "neat"). This method ensures that the drink remains cold without being overdiluted by melting ice.
Can I make an Affinity cocktail at home?
Absolutely! Making an Affinity cocktail at home is simple as long as you have the necessary ingredients and tools. You only need Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, optionally Angostura bitters, a stirring glass or shaker, a bar spoon, and a strainer.
Is the Affinity cocktail suitable for all occasions?
The Affinity cocktail is versatile and can be enjoyed at various events. Its sophisticated flavor profile makes it suitable for formal gatherings, while its simplicity allows it to fit in at casual get-togethers and pre-dinner drinks.
What food pairs well with an Affinity cocktail?
The robust and complex flavors of an Affinity cocktail pair well with hearty dishes like steak or lamb. It also complements rich cheeses and charcuterie, making it a great aperitivo option as well.

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