It's not often that a man in a kilt sidles up to the bar in these parts, but I've had it happen once or twice. No need to ask him what he wants, rather you let him scan the scotches and let him decide what kind of mood he's in.
Just as the tartans on his man skirt are laced with intricacies that no Yankee would understand, so is his single-malt scotch rife with complexity. Over 80 distilleries line the countryside of Scotland, each adding its own little spin on the drink. It could be how they smoke the malted barley or the water that they add at the very end after distillation.
Like children, each Scotch whisky has its own personality: some are kind and sweet, others are harsh and nasty. But just like a mother loves her child - even if he be a bully, so does the scotch man love his whisky.
These are the spirits that tough men drink - albeit in skirts, er, kilts. I can count on one hand how many women I've seen drink Lagavulin, which carries a horse-manure stench so strong that one's neighbor will start checking the bottom of their shoes. And I can count with the remaining fingers how many barely 21-year-old boys I've seen order the stuff with a fist.
The scotch man can tell you that it takes balls to toss one of these things back, those gained from years and years of taking in life's complexities. Fighting not to evaporate, get lost in the crowd, or find oneself flushed down the drain; in many ways - not much different than the story of his favorite drink.
Hoots Mon is a Scottish expression
used to dismiss another's opinion.
2 oz Scotch
1 oz Lillet
1 oz Italian sweet vermouth
Add ingredients with ice, stir, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.