Whisky is often enjoyed neat or on the rocks, but cocktails aren’t just for Gin, Rum or Vodka.
With a breadth of flavour combinations, it’s time to make Whisky the star of your cocktail bar. Even if the spirit isn’t your go-to tipple, there are plenty of flavours to explore that will tickle your taste buds.
As you raise a toast to Robert Burns, you want to honour him with the good stuff. The team at drinks retailer Bottle Club have compiled their mostpopular scotch whisky cocktails, along with recipes for you to try at home.
Robert Burns Cocktail
The Robert Burns is one of the classic cocktails that pays tribute to another of Scotland’s finest exports.
The drink itself is a delightful, sophisticated mix that builds on the scotch-vermouth combination of Rob Roy. The addition of absinthe brings in a nice contrasting flavour, though be sure to keep this accent to a dash, as it can easily overpower the drink.
If absinthe is a bit too much for your taste, there is a variation called the Bobby Burns which omits absinthe for Bénédictine.
It is a Scottish tradition to celebrate the poet Burns’ birthday on January 25th of each year, and whether this drink was named for him or not, it is a fantastic choice for the evening’s libation.
- 60ml Scotch Whisky
- 20 mlSweet Vermouth
- Dash Orange Bitters
- Dash Absinthe
Add ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, then stir well and strain into a tumbler. Ice and orange twist optional. If you do not have absinthe, try an anise-flavoured liqueur as a substitute.
Rusty Nail Cocktail
The Rusty Nail is the ultimate Scotch cocktail. It’s a very simple mix of scotch and Drambuie that is served on the rocks. This is designed to be a sophisticated, slow-sipping drink, and it’s excellent after dinner.
Feel free to switch from blended to single malts and explore various brands, choosing a variety that is as top-shelf as you wish. You may also want to adjust the ratio of the two spirits to fit your taste, as well as the type of whisky you’re pouring at the moment.
- 45 ml Scotch Whisky
- 20 ml Drambuie
Simply combine the liquids into a mixing glass and stir well before pouring over ice into a tumbler.
The Rob Roy
The Rob Roy cocktail was named after an operetta that narrated the story of a great Scottish folk hero who supported the poor.
A Scotch version of the classic Manhattan cocktail, a Rob Roy replaces bourbon or rye whisky with Scotch. The Rob Roy ingredients are also similar to that of a classic Old Fashioned, but the Rob Roy recipe uses sweet vermouth instead of sugar syrup for a richer flavour.
Best served by putting the cocktail glass in the freezer to ensure the Rob Roy stays cold, as the drink is served without ice. Stirring a Rob Roy cocktail rather than shaking is critical in delicate cocktails with few ingredients, so not to over dilute the drink.
- 60ml Scotch Whisky
- 25ml Sweet Vermouth
- Dash Angostura Bitters
- Cherry (Garnish)
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice (minus the garnish) and stir well before straining into a cold Nick and Nora or Martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.
A good Toddy has been said to jump-start mornings, cure colds and play furnace on a frigid evening. Many people believe that its first use was as a medicinal aid, as liquor was known to numb pain, while citrus and sugar (or honey) could soothe a sore throat.
This recipe comes from San Francisco bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout and features whiskey, hot water, demerara sugar and a clove-studded lemon peel. Fortunately, the Toddy is very easy to make.
Grab your favourite mug, and heat it with some boiling water, similar to how you chill a Martini glass. After a minute or two, throw away the water, and build your drink in the same mug by combining your spirit with sugar and more hot water.
- 4 Cloves
- 1 Lemon Peel
- 2 TSP Demerara Sugar
- ¼ Ounce / 8ml Lemon Juice
- 2 Ounces / 60ml Whisky
Grab your favourite mug and heat it with some boiling water. After a minute or two, throw away the water and build your drink in the same mug by combining your spirit with sugar, lemon juice and peel, cloves and more hot water.
The Ruby Queen recipe was developed by Rob Krueger of Extra Fancy in New York City.
Though it is filled with a couple of unusual ingredients, the Ruby Queen is quite easy to mix up. You will need to prepare or acquire fresh beet juice and take a few minutes to make a fresh honey syrup.
It’s a surprise when you taste just how well scotch works against this sweetened vegetable profile, whilst most of us will prefer a more neutral spirit for such a distinct flavour like beets, the whisky adds a depth that vodka and gin cannot.
Simply pour and shake like any other drink and you will have a savoury drink that will rival any Bloody Mary.
● 1 ½ Ounces / 45ml Scotch Whisky
● 1 Ounce / 30ml Fresh Red Beetroot Juice
● ¾ Ounce / 25ml Honey Syrup
● ¾ Ounce / 25ml Fresh Lemon Juice
● Fresh Dill or Tarragon (Garnish)
● Lemon Twist (Garnish)
Combine everything except the garnish into a shaker with ice, shake for 30 seconds, then strain and pour into all tall, high-ball style glass. pour and shake like any other drink and you will have a savoury drink that will rival any Bloody Mary.