The Rob Roy Cocktail Recipe: A Flavorful And Complex Scotch Cocktail

The Rob Roy Cocktail Recipe: A Flavorful And Complex Scotch Cocktail
The cocktail is usually summed up as “A Manhattan with Scotch” which is not inaccurate, since that’s exactly what it is.

According to Wikipedia, the Rob Roy was invented in 1894, put together by an unnamed bartender at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel. The drink was made to commemorate an opera about the Scottish folk hero (played by Liam Neeson in 1995’s movie of the same name).

The cocktail is usually summed up as “A Manhattan with Scotch” which is not inaccurate, since that’s exactly what it is. But that description kind of glosses over the truth of the drink, which is that it’s much more customizable than a Manhattan. Scotch, as Primer’s Visual Guide to Whiskey shows, comes from four separate regions of Scotland (not to mention Japanese whiskeys, which are mainly scotches that just happen to come from another country). Each region imparts its own flavors to the whiskey, and even within those regions the variances can be huge.

I’m not saying that “bourbon is bourbon” or “rye is rye”, but in general there is less variance within those spirit types than there is within scotch, which means your choice of whisky in a Rob Roy will have a large impact on what the drink tastes like. A soft, blended whisky will stay closer to a traditional Manhattan, in terms of flavor, than a big, smoky Islay offering. My recommendation: try some scotches neat, first, to determine what you like, and then work from there.

This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts. Liquors in parentheses are what I used when I made this recipe, and are included as suggestions.

 

rob roy cocktail recipe

The Rob Roy Cocktail Recipe

A complex, flavorful Scotch cocktail
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 1 Drink

Equipment

  • Pint Glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Chilled cocktail glass

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in a pint glass over ice and stir thoroughly. 
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a Luxardo maraschino cherry.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Christopher Buecheler

Christopher Buecheler is a novelist, a web developer, an award-winning amateur mixologist, a brewer, a guitarist, a drummer, and an NBA enthusiast. He lives a semi-nomadic life with his wife and two cats, currently residing in Providence, RI. You can learn more at his website, cwbuecheler.com.