The Story Behind The Caledonian Spritzer

I like to think that during medieval times, somewhere, somehow, there was a knight sipping cocktails in a classy tavern. It’s the stuff of fantasy, of course. When the Romans referred to Scotland as Caledonia back in 84 A.D., they didn’t have the necessary ingredients to craft cocktails -- certainly not this one. The first Scotch whisky would not be distilled until 1,500 years later, around the same time Riesling started to appear in documents.

This cocktail has Scotch and Riesling in it, both available in this day and age for wide consumption, thankfully! I find that pineapple juice brings something special out of a good blended Scotch, so we brought some of that with us to our tavern. Pineapple gives the drink a crisp citrus zest, but also brings a lot of sugar into it – hence the Riesling, to balance it out. To bring this drink back down to earth, I picked some fresh thyme from my garden and mixed it into a quick and easy simple syrup mixture; that really did the trick.


  • 1.5 ounces Scotch
  • 1 ounce Riesling
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • ½ ounce thyme syrup
  • Pineapple wedge and thyme sprig (garnish)


  1. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Shake hard to combine and chill ingredients
  3. Strain into a rocks glass over a king ice cube (or any ice)

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Yield: 1 cocktail
Updated: 2019-05-06

Caledonian Spritzer Recipe