Witch Hunt Cocktail

Witch Hunt Cocktail Recipe

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail

The witch hunt is an intriguing scotch and lemonade drink. It gets its name from Strega Liqueur (Italian for witch), which brings its herbal blend into the simple recipe.

A pleasant and summery way to enjoy your favorite scotch, the witch hunt marries the whisky and Strega with dry vermouth. It's really the lemonade that brings it all together, giving the drink a refreshing twist that is different and far brighter than the dark profile typical of scotch cocktails.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Scotch whisky

  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth

  • 1/4 ounce Strega Liqueur

  • 1 ounce lemonade

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Build the ingredients in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.

  3. Stir well.

  4. Serve and enjoy.


  • A blended Scotch whisky will generally be your best bet for this cocktail. The taste tends to be smoother and is neither too peaty or smoky like some of the single malts.
  • Freshly made lemonade will definitely make better witch hunt. To make a small amount quickly, simply combine one part each simple syrup and lemon juice with two parts water in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake well and your lemonade is ready!
  • Crushed ice is typically recommended in the witch hunt. You can certainly use regular ice cubes. On a hot summer day, it's really nice to pour it over a slow-melting ice ball.
  • To make crushed ice from cubes, place the ice in a cloth bag (the Lewis bag is designed for this task) or a tough plastic bag. Wack it into fine pieces with your muddler (a rolling pin or hammer works, too). You can also chop ice with your blender but will want to drain out any excess water that's created.

Recipe Variations

  • Strega is made with a proprietary blend of herbs and spices, dominated by saffron, mint, and juniper. While there's no exact substitute for the gold-colored liqueur that can replicate the taste perfectly, Yellow Chartreuse is a common substitute and would be good in this recipe.
  • Galliano L'Autentico would be another decent Strega substitute, though again, offering a different taste. Its herbal blend focuses on vanilla and, while the witch hunt's basic taste will change, it will retain that beautiful gold color.
  • You can also try a different style of whiskey in the witch hunt. Try not to pour anything that's too robust because the cocktail's flavor is delicate and needs a fine balance. Good options would be smooth blends like Canadian and Irish whiskeys.

How Strong Is a Witch Hunt?

Strega is an 80-proof liqueur and when it's mixed with a scotch of the same strength, the witch hunt becomes a pleasant cocktail that's neither too strong or too light. Its alcohol content should be right around 20 percent ABV (40 proof). This can vary with the whisky and vermouth you choose to pour and will weaken as your ice melts.