Rob Roy Cocktail – the Timeless Scotch Classic

Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by David Michael

Rob Roy Cocktail

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The Rob Roy is a variation on a Manhattan, but made using Scotch as the base instead of bourbon. The complex and smoky flavor comes together with surprisingly few ingredients.

First mixed in 1894 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in NYC. The drink was named to commemorate the opening of the operetta, ‘Rob Roy‘. Based on Scottish folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor, this legendary figure was known for his bravery and charismatic persona. The elegant libation quickly gained popularity and became a staple in bars and lounges around the world.

I like this best with a blended Scotch. The sweet vermouth really opens up the flavors nicely. I would save the real peaty, smoky single malts for sipping neat, but feel free to use any Scotch you like in this cocktail.

Rob Roy Recipe

2 ounces blended Scotch
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Garnish: brandied or maraschino cherry

In a mixing glass half filled with ice, combine the Scotch, sweet vermouth and bitters.
Stir well.
Strain into a cocktail glass or over ice in an old fashioned glass.
Garnish with a brandied or maraschino cherry.

The Rob Roy Cocktail stands tall as a timeless classic, offering a delightful journey through history with every sip. With its rich blend of Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, and bitters, this cocktail continues to captivate cocktail enthusiasts across the globe. Whether you’re hosting a sophisticated gathering or simply relaxing after a long day, the Rob Roy is a sophisticated choice that never disappoints.

So, why not embark on your mixology adventure and craft your very own Rob Roy Cocktail? As you explore the nuances of this elegant drink, remember to experiment, have fun, and savor the experience. Cheers to the timeless Rob Roy Cocktail!

If you enjoyed the Rob Roy, check out its bourbon counterpart: The Manhattan.

Browse all of our cocktail recipes in our Cocktail Recipe Index.

Recommended Products for a Rob Roy

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Riedel Vinum Martini Glasses

The perfect size for this recipe. I love my Vinum martini glasses, they’re sturdy and have graceful lines. I photographed the Rob Roy using a Riedel Vinum Martini glass.

 Riedel VINUM Martini Glasses, Set of 2 - ,Clear

Riedel Extreme Martini Glasses

The larger Extreme martini glass is great if you are serving doubles. These hold a generous 8 ounces each.

Riedel Extreme Martini Glasses

Riedel Double Old Fashioned Glasses

If you prefer your Rob Roy on the rocks I recommend the Riedel Double Rocks Glass. These make building a cocktail super easy as the lines at the bottom actually indicate a perfect 2 ounce pour.

Riedel Double Old Fashioned Glass Double Rocks Glass

Linen Cocktail Napkins

The perfect finishing touch. I love these classic hemstitched linen napkins. You can never have too many linen napkins, and these come in an amazing assortment of colors too.

Mixing Glass by Riedel

Also featured in the photo above, I have been using the Riedel mixing glass for nearly all of my stirred cocktails. It’s a nice heavy glass that holds 22 ounces. Plenty of room to make two drinks at the same time – even doubles.

Riedel Mixing Glass

Stainless Bar Spoon by Barfly

I prefer these stainless steel barspoons from Barfly. They are high quality commercial grade. They come in a great selection of finishes, but stainless is what I always go for.

Bar Spoon by Barfly

Stainless Julep Strainer by Barfly

I love this julep style strainer. It’s just the right size for the Riedel mixing glass. I have the stainless, but it’s available in several great finishes.

Stainless Julep Strainer by Barfly

Fee Brothers Old Fashion Aromatic Bitters

The classic bitters with an angostura base that gives the perfect touch of seasoning to your Rob Roy. I love the spice of the Fee Brothers old fashion bitters, it’s a perfect complement to Scotch. They also make an amazing range of fruit and spice based bitters to easily update the flavor profile of your cocktails.

Fee Brothers Old Fashion Aromatic Bitters

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

The original Maraschino cherry and one of the best available. Raise your cocktail game with Luxardo Maraschino cherries – I really recommend these over those artificial red ones.

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

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