Highland Fling

May 10, 2013 (Day 2) – Highland Fling

Thanks to the hooklike words and catchy rhythms of Spamalot, Monty Python is the only thing we can think of whenever we hear the term “Highland Fling.”

Because, you know Monty Python AND Broadway Musicals are the way you get the laaaaaadieees.

Nevertheless, the Highland Fling is both a dance move as well as a classic cocktail which unsurprisingly makes prominent use of that smokey monster we know as scotch whiskey.

Because we’re pompous asshats here, we tend to reserve scotch for simply sipping. One – it’s expensive and if you’re dropping those kinds of ducats on a spirit, you best be getting your monies worth my tasting the spirit itself. Not only that, scotch is notoriously difficult to mix with. Or rather, notoriously difficult to mix WELL with. I suppose if you’re into cocktails that taste like the inside of a gravediggers banana hammock, then scotch is easy to mix with.

It’s the very nature of that challenge that entices us to go ahead and try our hands at it anyway. Part of the reason is that when it DOES work well you’ll end up with one of the greatest alchemical reactions you could ever find in your glass. The Blood & Sand and Macallan Negroni are two of the best examples of how someone who somewhat knows the properties of scotch can create something beautiful.

I daily question if How to Mix Drinks knows somewhat about the properties of scotch. This is the same book that has the Cowboy – scotch and heavy cream. However, we’re resisting the urge to tinker with recipes until after we’ve tried the originals.

Highland Fling

  • 2 oz scotch whiskey
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a Boston shaker filled with ice and stir vigorously; at least until a frost forms on the outside of the cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled martini glass.


As would be expected from a scotch cocktail, the smokiness is the defining factor here. However, rather than detracting the sweet vermouth adds another layer of flavor that darkens the smoke of the scotch. Our first impressions were that the orange bitters weren’t serving much of a purpose, but there’s a nice orange flavor that lingers a bit at the end.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: