When it comes to finding a balanced cocktail that combines intricate and unexpected ingredients, look no further than this cocktail made with Highland Park Scotch whisky. Highland Park offers a flavor profile of rich, fruity, aromas intertwined with intense floral peaty notes. Born in the Orkney Islands, this wind battered yet beautifully mild climate makes a complex whisky like no other.
Below, we spoke with Alicia Walton of The Sea Star who crafted a delicious Highland Park cocktail that highlights the harmony of the wild elements found in the whisky’s unique island home.
How did you design the cocktail?
We wanted to make something that was tasty, crushable, pretty, while still showcasing the Scotch. The umeshu plays off the salinity in the Highland Park, while the blackberry liqueur dials up the sherry cask finish. A couple pinches of the smoked salt really brings the whole drink together.
When would you drink this? Describe the setting…
Anytime, at the Sea Star! But sitting by a cliff overlooking the ocean sounds like a lovely way to have a cocktail!
How do you drink your Highland Park? What do you like about Highland Park?
I usually enjoy my Highland Park neat, with a beer or cider on the side. I dig this scotch because it’s approachable for the novice scotch drinker, but also hits all the notes that a seasoned whisky vet loves.
Where do you find your inspirations for what you do? How does San Francisco impact that?
Always trying to remember to make it fun, ultimately that’s what this job is all about. Showing people hospitality with a welcoming establishment and good times. SF is full of good times and good people, so this city makes it easy!
What are you most excited about in the year ahead?
I’m excited for the bar to be heading back to a normal routine after being shut down for over 15 months. Rekindling our relationships with people who have become our family over the years feels good! It’s so great to see all our patrons and regulars back, and how appreciative they are of us for making it to the other side of the pandemic.
Highs & Lows
1.5 oz Highland Park 12 Year Old
.75 oz Matsui Umeshu Fruit Liqueur
.5 oz Leopold Brothers Blackberry Liqueur
.5 oz Lemon Juice
.75 oz Honey
Smoked Applewood Salt
Combine all ingredients in mixing tins, shake & fine pour over crushed ice, garnish with a blackberry and lemon.
Photography by: Drew Altizer Photography