One look at a Rob Roy and you may think, “Oh hey! It’s just a Manhattan with scotch.” Yes, it’s definitely that. Just like Manhattans, the Rob Roy is a classic cocktail that was put to bed for a long time, then revived during the mid-aughts.
The Rob Roy, named after a Broadway play, dates back to the late 19th century. You can think of it as the Manhattan’s bolder cousin—it uses an identical liquor ratio but with scotch instead of bourbon or rye.
My Recommendation for the Best Scotch
A blended scotch works well—more expensive bottle’s subtle characteristics would be muted here. The flavors of scotch can vary wildly, from almost-sweet and oaky to something that tastes like licking a fire pit.
Try a familiar scotch you enjoy. For a Rob Roy, I love a very smoky scotch, but if the smokiness is off-putting to you, try a milder scotch like The Famous Grouse or a more subtly smoky scotch, like Duncan Taylor’s blended 12-year.
Two Vermouth Suggestions
With only two main ingredients, it’s important to choose a quality vermouth you could sip as-is too. Carpano Antica’s bold, spicy profile will stand up to a smoky scotch. I find Noilly Prat Sweet Vermouth lighter and fruitier, which works well with lighter blended scotches.
How to Serve a Rob Roy
Traditionally, a classic coupe is used to serve up a Rob Roy, but I’ll often break tradition and serve it in a globe glass. Regardless of the vessel you decide to go with, add a large piece of orange zest over the drink, expressing (a.k.a. squeezing) the peel first to release the oils. It will brighten up the cocktail and give it a lovely floral aroma.
Classy Classic Cocktails
Rob Roy Cocktail
To make a large batch of Rob Roy cocktails, multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you will need. Fill a large pitcher halfway with ice, and then pour everything minus the garnish into the pitcher. Stir it for 20 to 30 seconds to chill. Immediately strain the cocktail into serving glasses and garnish each with an orange peel.
Ice, for chilling
2 ounces blended scotch whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2 to 3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Fresh orange peel, for garnish (optional)
Stir the cocktail together:
In a mixing glass or tall glass filled two thirds with ice, pour in the scotch whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. Stir for 20 seconds to chill.
Strain and serve:
Strain the cocktail into a coupe glass and garnish with an orange peel. Serve.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 4g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|