Aside from being a lovely word that rolls off the tongue, a Scaffa is a wonderful way to please your palate.


Okay. What is it?


A Scaffa is a mixed drink, often a liquor and a liqueur or two, stirred in the absence of ice to cool and dilute it. Historically, bitters and syrups have been considered fair game, too.


What it is not: A proper cocktail, for it lacks the water component. (A proper cocktail  — by the early 1800s definition — means it contains spirit, bitters, sugar, and water/ice).


Some say a Scaffa is an old English word for “cupboard” — suggesting that it is a style of drink is simply any mixture served from the cupboard and into the glass.


Others say Scaffa is named after the person that “Invented” it. Scaffa is a popular Italian surname.


The Bartender’s Guide by Trader Vic (1948) prints, “An old time drink is the Scaffa, enjoyed more by men than by women, since they are merely mixtures of strong liquor pointed up with a bit of liqueur or cordial or a dash of bitters and served without ice.”


Here’s one fine example from Impress your friends.


Orange Scaffa

1 oz Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
1/4 oz Angostura Bitters
1/4 oz Peychaud’s Bitters
1/4 oz Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)