Authentic Rob Roy Drink Recipe + Simple Variations

A Rob Roy cocktail

Considered by many cocktail lovers to be the Scottish version of the renowned Manhattan, the Rob Roy merely differs in its use of scotch instead of rye whiskey or bourbon. Although the drink has a pretty specific formula, you can always make a few slight adjustments to tailor-make it to your personal tastes. Check out this historic cocktail and see which of these variations you want to try first.

Rob Roy Drink Recipe

The original Rob Roy recipe calls for Angostura bitters, sweet vermouth, and scotch to create a mature cocktail. If you're not a huge fan of sweet vermouth, you can half the amount and add a half an ounce of dry vermouth to the recipe to balance the flavors out.

Rob Roy Cocktail

Ingredients

  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 ounces scotch
  • Ice
  • 1 maraschino cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the bitters, vermouth, and scotch.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

Rob Roy Drink Variations

While amateur bartenders might find it to be a difficult task to experiment with more traditional liquors like vermouth and scotch, well-trained mixologists know exactly how to adjust the ingredients to create an award-winning flavor profile. Here are a number of customized Rob Roy recipes to get you started.

Dry Rob Roy Cocktail

For those who are a big fan of dry ingredients, this dry Rob Roy is a perfect option. The original recipe only needs a slight twist in order to make this version of the cocktail; simply switch out the sweet vermouth for dry vermouth.

Dry Rob Roy Cocktail

Ingredients

  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 2 ounces scotch
  • Ice
  • 1 maraschino cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the bitters, vermouth, and scotch.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

Run for the Hills Rob Roy Cocktail

This recipe might just have your nose hairs running for the hills because of its incorporation of the high-proof liquor, absinthe. Yet, just a few dashes make this addition mild enough for even the most sensitive of stomachs to handle with ease.

Run for the Hills Rob Roy Cocktail

Ingredients

  • Dash of absinthe
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 ounces scotch
  • Ice
  • 1 lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the absinthe, vermouth, and scotch.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Sunny Rob Roy Cocktail

For a sweeter cocktail, take this Sunny Rob Roy recipe out for a spin. By combining bitters, honey, sweet vermouth, and honey scotch, this cocktail creates a warm drink that goes down as smooth as any well-steeped tea.

Sunny Rob Roy Cocktail

Ingredients

  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • ½ ounce honey
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 ounces honey scotch
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine all of the ingredients.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and serve.

Bloody Rob Roy Cocktail

For a cocktail with a little sweetness and a visual bite, try out this Bloody Rob Roy recipes. Just add a half of an ounce of grenadine to the regular recipe and you've got yourself a blood red masterpiece.

Bloody Rob Roy Cocktail

Ingredients

  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • ½ ounce grenadine
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 ounces scotch
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine all of the ingredients.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and serve.

W. 34th Street Cocktail

Inspired by the Broadway district in which the Rob Roy play that offered the original drink its name was located, this W. 34th Street cocktail combines bitters, apricot brandy, sweet vermouth, and scotch together.

W. 34th Street Cocktail

Ingredients

  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 ounce apricot brandy
  • ½ ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 ounces scotch
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine all of the ingredients.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and serve.

How the Rob Roy Came to Be

While Rob Roy is an iconic outlaw figure in Scottish history, this specific drink isn't actually Scottish and originated at the bar of the famous Waldorf Hotel. According to Primer Magazine, the drink was inspired by a play detailing Rob Roy's exploits that was performing on Broadway at the time. In particular, the drink is interesting because it marks a moment when blended scotch was first made available in the United States, and as with many of the Waldorf's cocktail creations, the Rob Roy has remained a popular cocktail among drink enthusiasts.

Classic Cocktails in the Modern World

One of the best parts of experimenting with historic cocktails is being able to bring a piece of history to life in the modern world. While most people probably haven't ever heard of a Rob Roy cocktail before, your new skills at serving one up will make them wish they'd learned about it sooner.

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Authentic Rob Roy Drink Recipe + Simple Variations