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The Rob Roy: A Sophisticated Twist on the Classic Manhattan

The Rob Roy: A Sophisticated Twist on the Classic Manhattan
  March 29, 2024

The Rob Roy: A Sophisticated Twist on the Classic Manhattan

The Rob Roy, a timeless cocktail born in the late 19th century, offers a sophisticated twist on the familiar Manhattan.  This variation swaps the bold rye whiskey for a smooth and mellow Scotch whisky, creating a lighter and more nuanced flavor profile.  Here's how to craft this delightful drink at home:


2 ounces blended Scotch whisky (high-quality recommended)

1 ounce sweet vermouth

2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

Maraschino cherry (for garnish)

Optional: Orange peel (for garnish)

Ballantine’s 12yr Blended Scotch Whisky – 750 ML


Chill Your Glass: Begin by chilling a coupe glass or Nick and Nora glass. Fill the glass with ice and let it sit for a few minutes. Discard the ice before building your drink.

Stir Gently: In a separate mixing glass, combine the Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters. Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir gently for 15-20 seconds. Stirring, rather than shaking, preserves the delicate dilution and prevents the drink from becoming cloudy.

Strain and Garnish: Using a bar strainer, strain the chilled cocktail into your prepared coupe glass. Discard the ice and any remaining solids from the strainer.

Express the Garnish (Optional): If using an orange peel, express the oils by gently squeezing it over the drink and then discard it.

Classic Finish: Garnish your Rob Roy with a maraschino cherry for a touch of sweetness and a classic presentation.


Scotch Selection: While a blended Scotch is traditionally used for the Rob Roy, feel free to experiment with different varieties. A single malt Scotch can add a unique twist, depending on the specific region and flavor profile.

Sweet Vermouth Matters: The brand of sweet vermouth can significantly impact the drink's sweetness and complexity. Explore different options to find one that complements your chosen Scotch whisky. Popular choices include Carpano Antica Formula and Dolin Rouge.

Adjust the Sweetness: Similar to the Manhattan, you can adjust the amount of sweet vermouth to your taste preference. Start with 1 ounce and add more in small increments for a sweeter drink.

The Perfect Ice: Large ice cubes melt slower, preventing your Rob Roy from becoming watered down too quickly.

With its simple construction and sophisticated flavor profile, the Rob Roy is a perfect addition to your cocktail repertoire. So, gather your ingredients, stir up this timeless classic, and enjoy a taste of cocktail history with a Scottish twist.