The first-known mentions of the Rob Roy credit New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel for the 1897 recipe, which is essentially a Manhattan made with Scotch whisky. Cocktail historians figure the name was a nod to a play about the great Scotsman, which premiered three years earlier in Manhattan (hence the Scotch whisky). The drink skews a touch leaner than its bourbon and rye counterparts, and since the Scotch gets doctored up with sweet vermouth and bitters, a blended whisky will more than suffice.
- 2 ounces Scotch, blended
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish: brandied cherry (preferably Luxardo) or a lemon twist
- Add all ingredients to a mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir until chilled.
- Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a brandied cherry or a lemon twist.
We love a Rob Roy mixed with Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, but if you can’t find it, Martini & Rossi makes a fine, albeit slightly fruitier substitute. Luxardo cherries are a luxury, but if you can find them, plop one in. Otherwise, go for a lemon twist.