If you’re looking for tequila shooters, move on. This is an elegant, spirit-forward sipper, which I made for the Martha Stewart radio show on Sirius last week (on the radio, no one can see you spill...). It’s a mash-up of a few different influences:
–First, this is a riff on the classic Highland cocktail (Scotch, sweet vermouth, orange bitters). But since this was a show about Spring cocktails, I wanted to showcase a lighter spirit. Since both Scotch and tequila have highlands and lowlands variations, a tequila-based Highland became my starting point.
–It didn’t hurt that I had on hand a really nice highlands tequila (Vida reposado). It has gentle vanilla and honeyed agave flavors that remind me a bit of a light Speyside whiskey. The stars were aligning for the drink.
–A couple of weeks earlier, I’d sampled a (Scotch-based) “Highland Fling” cocktail at an event hosted by Compass Box. That drink, made by fab LUPEC lady Eryn Reece, was my favorite of the evening. Her secret ingredient? Tea-infused Dolin Blanc. That became another source of inspiration.
The Highland Tequila Fling
A sophisticated approach to tequila, loosely based on the classic Highland cocktail.
1 ½ ounces tequila reposado
1 ½ ounce chamomile-infused dry vermouth*
½ tsp agave nectar
1 dash Fee Bros peach bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, with ice. Stir well for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with orange peel knot.
*To make infused vermouth: dunk 4 chamomile tea bags in hot water, then remove and place the tea bags in 1 cup vermouth. Allow to steep for at least 5 minutes, then squeeze out any excess liquid and discard the tea bags. Makes enough for several drinks.