How to Make a Flying Scotsman Cocktail

by Scottish Scran - Phil
Flying Scotsman Cocktail

We would imagine when most people hear the words Flying Scotsman the first thing they think of probably isn’t a Flying Scotsman Cocktail or even a whisky cocktail. A more likely first thought would be of the namesake of this tasty drink, the famous Flying Scotsman steam train.

But actually, the two go hand in hand! The Flying Scotsman cocktail wasn’t just named after the famous locomotive but it was actually created because of it and served on board.

The cocktail was perfect for the look and feel of the train which became popular in the mid-1920s when the famous steam locomotive officially began its run from London to Edinburgh.

It’s a strong yet smooth drink bursting with flavour and full of class. The link to the iconic steam train just adds to the all-round experience and is a great story to tell your guests. 

If you have a love of all things whisky then this is the cocktail for you! Simple and easy to drink, just how we like it! 

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Flying Scotsman Cocktail

What was the Flying Scotsman?

The route between London and Edinburgh has had a rail service running since the late 1800s but it officially took the nickname the Flying Scotsman in 1924. It then became more and more popular in the 1930s when the newly designed streamlined Flying Scotsman broke the speed record for steam at more than 200 km/h.

This world record, to date, has never been beaten.

Not only was this amazing train the quickest it also oozed class and comfort with its own restaurant, hairdressers and, by the 1930s, a cocktail bar. And you can’t have a train service with its own bar without having a signature cocktail!

The Flying Scotsman is still considered the most famous train in the world and it’s due to the impressiveness of the train itself and the popularity of the route that the Flying Scotsman Cocktail was created.

You can find out more of this magnificent locomotive’s rich history at the National Railway Museum website. The museum is an amazing place to visit with the family and you can see the Flying Scotsman in person!

Flying Scotsman Cocktail

What is a Flying Scotsman Cocktail?

This classic Whisky cocktail was made by blending single malt whisky with sweet vermouth and adding a splash of bitters and syrup. Simple but effective and one of our favourites! You can just picture yourself ordering one as your steam train takes you from England to Scotland.

The cocktail was created by world-famous bartender Harry Craddock at the Savoy Hotel in London in honour of the Flying Scotsman service launching in the 1920s, and it’s said to be some of the reason that the Flying Scotsman had its very own cocktail bar by the1930s.

It was originally served with a single malt but, like many traditional cocktails, it has since been made with bourbons, blends and various other types of whisky. We tend to pour with what’s to hand but it’s hard to go wrong with a good single malt.

Flying Scotsman Cocktail

How to make a Flying Scotsman

Ingredients

  • 60ml Single Malt Whisky (2oz)
  • 60 ml Sweet Vermouth (2oz) – We used Martini Rosso
  • 1 tsp Sugar Syrup (0.3oz) – We made our own
  • 1 tsp Angostura Bitters (0.2oz)
  • Ice
  • Lemon twist

Tools:

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Strainer
  • Rocks or Martini Glass

Method

  • Fill your shaker and glass with ice to cool
  • Pour the Whisky, Vermouth, Syrup and Bitters over the ice
  • Cover and shake well for 20-30 secs
  • Empty ice from your now cooled glass
  • Use your strainer and pour the cocktail into your glass
  • Garnish with a twist of lemon 

Top Tips

This cocktail can be made by stirring rather than shaking, it’s not the traditional method but will work and means you can make the Flying Scotsman without a cocktail shaker.

To make a lemon twist cut your lemon in half then cut a thin slice, leaving you with a round slice of lemon. With a sharp knife cut around the outside of the lemon, keeping in the pith but not making it too thin.

Once you’ve gone all the way around push out the flesh leaving a circle of lemon skin. Slice through one side of the circle and gently grip each end of the lemon skin. Then twist to form a small circle, hold then release. This should give you a lemon twist. If it needs to be tighter, re-curl.

And there you have it, one of our favourite Whisky Cocktails, steeped in Scottish history and 1920s and 30s class. Pour yourself one and imagine what it must have been like aboard the Flying Scotsman as it pulled into Waverley! 

Flying Scotsman Cocktail

If you want to try some more ways to enjoy a wee dram then try your hand at making some more simple Whisky Cocktails we have listed here or even try adding it to some of our recipes. Traditional Scottish Cranachan is delicious and Caledonian Creme is bursting with flavour.

Enjoy,

Phil & Sonja

Yield: 1

Flying Scotsman Cocktail

Flying Scotsman Cocktail

The Flying Scotsman Cocktail is named after the Flying Scotsman train service itself, and was even served on board! It's a simple whisky cocktail that's easy to make at home and impress your guests with.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 60ml Single Malt Whisky (2oz)
  • 60 ml Sweet Vermouth (2oz) - We used Martini Rosso
  • 1 tsp Sugar Syrup (0.3oz) - we made our own, see notes.
  • 1 tsp Angostura Bitters (0.2oz)
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist

Tools

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Strainer - If not part of your shaker
  • Rocks or Martini Glass 

Instructions

  1. Cocktail Shaker
  2. Strainer - if not part of your shaker
  3. Rocks or Martini Glass

Notes

Top Tips

  • To make your own sugar syrup gently heat 2 parts sugar to 1 part water in a pot on the stove until the sugar is dissolved, then allow to cool.
  • This cocktail can be made by stirring rather than shaking, it's not the traditional method but will work and means you can make the Flying Scotsman without a cocktail shaker.
  • To make a lemon twist cut your lemon in half then cut a thin slice, leaving you with a round slice of lemon. With a sharp knife cut around the outside of the flesh of the lemon, keeping in the pith but not to thin and not cutting through the skin.
  • Once you've gone all the way around push out the flesh leaving a circle of lemon skin. Slice through one side of the circle and gently grip each end of the lemon skin. Then twist to form a small circle, hold then release. This should give you a lemon twist. If it needs to be tighter, re-curl.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1411Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 195mgCarbohydrates: 97gFiber: 3gSugar: 84gProtein: 7g

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1 comment

Evie December 9, 2020 - 11:59 pm

You make these drinks look so fabulous with your beautiful photography 😙 I wish I could jump on board that Flying Scotsman, it sounds like it was so amazing!

Reply

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