May 25, 2012

The PDT Project: Against All Odds Cocktail

by Payman Bahmani

At its core, the art of mixing drinks involves the skillful ability to balance flavors. Sometimes it’s a simple task involving three ingredients that are prima facie playmates, resulting in an instant classic–the Daiquiri or Manhattan cocktails come to mind here. Other times the balancing act is more akin to the high wire variety, with disparate ingredients that appear to want nothing to do with each other, hence requiring a much more deft hand and nuanced palate in order to create something noteworthy.

The Against All Odds Cocktail is an example of the latter. As the drink’s name suggests, it is a composite of ingredients one wouldn’t normally think to put together in a mixing glass, like Irish whiskey, Mezcal, and Chardonnay.

Against All Odds Cocktail
1.5 oz Bushmills Irish Whiskey
1.5 oz Channing Daughters Scuttlehole Chardonnay
0.5 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot
0.25 oz Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb
Ilegal Reposado Mezcal, to rinse coupe
Pansy flower (garnish)

Tools: barspoon, mixing glass, strainer
Glassware: chilled coupe

Method: Pour all ingredients in mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe that has been rinsed with the Mezcal. Garnish with a pansy flower (all I had available was an orchid, so that’s what I used).

Despite the seemingly incompatible set of ingredients, the result is an elegant cocktail that is dry and not overpoweringly boozy, with faint notes of apricot and orange. And then there’s the hint of smoky earthiness from the mescal that creeps in at the back of the palate and reminds you exactly how this drink got its name.

*This post is part of a series in which Payman takes on the task of making and writing about every cocktail featured in the PDT Cocktail Book, as well as providing an awesome photo of each drink taken by Vanessa Bahmani Photography

**Got a question? He can be found on twitter @paystyle, you can email him at, or simply drop him a comment below.


  • Posted May 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    PDT is the ultimate experience for a classic cocktail. Thanks much for our recent, enjoyable visit.

  • Posted May 31, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Gordon, you’re most welcome, and very happy you enjoyed yourself! Thanks for reading!

  • Kayoko
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I tried making this last night with ingredients we had offhand:
    – Manon wine instead of chard
    – Leopold’s small batch whiskey instead of Irish Whisky
    – San Juan hi-proof mezcal

    I think I’ll still need to tweak it a bit, but it was definitely quite floral and the wine made it lighter and refreshing. It danced in my mouth.

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