Rob Roy Cocktail Drink

Rob Roy

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

If you’re craving a classic cocktail with a twist, this Rob Roy Cocktail recipe is exactly what you need! It’s a delightful drink, packed with flavorful ingredients, and incredibly simple to make.

Rob Roy Cocktail Recipe

This straightforward Rob Roy recipe is perfect for winter! It's a warming mix of Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, and a touch of Angostura bitters.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

195 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Scotch Whisky
  • ¾ oz sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon
  • Mixing Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: First, chill your cocktail glass.
  • Add Angostura aromatic bitters: Drop 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters in the mixing glass.
  • Add Sweet Vermouth: measure and pour ¾ oz sweet Vermouth.
  • Pour Scotch Whisky: Add 2 oz Scotch Whisky to the mixture.
  • Add ice: Fill your mixing glass with ice cubes.
  • Stir Well: Give it a good stir until well combined.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture into your chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish: Drop a maraschino cherry into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Scotch Whisky: If you don't have Scotch, use bourbon or rye whiskey. The flavor profile will change, but still make a tasty cocktail.
  • Sweet Vermouth: Dry vermouth can be used as a substitute for a less sweet cocktail. You could add a dash of simple syrup to balance out the bitterness.
  • Angostura Bitters: Orange bitters can be used as an alternative to Angostura bitters for a slightly different flavor profile.

Making a Pitcher of Rob Roy:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of Scotch whisky, 6 oz of sweet vermouth, and 16 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher with ice and stir well.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into individual chilled cocktail glasses, garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Scotch Whisky Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic whisky substitute; several brands are available that mimic the smoky flavor of Scotch.
  • Sweet Vermouth Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic sweet vermouth substitute or make a simple syrup infused with herbs and spices.
  • Angostura Bitters Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic bitters substitute. There are several options available in the market.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Maraschino Cherry: Some brands of maraschino cherries use artificial colors and flavors that are not vegan-friendly. Look for organic or natural brands that do not use these additives or omit the cherry garnish.
  • Vermouth: make sure to check with the producer, many brands are filtered using isinglass or albumen.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
195
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
2
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
6
g
2
%
Fiber
 
0.2
g
1
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Potassium
 
22
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Vitamin A
 
2
IU
0
%
Calcium
 
5
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Rob Roy Cocktail Drink

Rob Roy Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
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This straightforward Rob Roy recipe is perfect for winter! It's a warming mix of Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, and a touch of Angostura bitters.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 195

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Scotch Whisky
  • ¾ oz sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Maraschino cherry - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon
  • Mixing Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: First, chill your cocktail glass.
  • Add Angostura aromatic bitters: Drop 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters in the mixing glass.
  • Add Sweet Vermouth: measure and pour ¾ oz sweet Vermouth.
  • Pour Scotch Whisky: Add 2 oz Scotch Whisky to the mixture.
  • Add ice: Fill your mixing glass with ice cubes.
  • Stir Well: Give it a good stir until well combined.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture into your chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish: Drop a maraschino cherry into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Scotch Whisky: If you don't have Scotch, use bourbon or rye whiskey. The flavor profile will change, but still make a tasty cocktail.
  • Sweet Vermouth: Dry vermouth can be used as a substitute for a less sweet cocktail. You could add a dash of simple syrup to balance out the bitterness.
  • Angostura Bitters: Orange bitters can be used as an alternative to Angostura bitters for a slightly different flavor profile.

Making a Pitcher of Rob Roy:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of Scotch whisky, 6 oz of sweet vermouth, and 16 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher with ice and stir well.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into individual chilled cocktail glasses, garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Scotch Whisky Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic whisky substitute; several brands are available that mimic the smoky flavor of Scotch.
  • Sweet Vermouth Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic sweet vermouth substitute or make a simple syrup infused with herbs and spices.
  • Angostura Bitters Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic bitters substitute. There are several options available in the market.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Maraschino Cherry: Some brands of maraschino cherries use artificial colors and flavors that are not vegan-friendly. Look for organic or natural brands that do not use these additives or omit the cherry garnish.
  • Vermouth: make sure to check with the producer, many brands are filtered using isinglass or albumen.

What is a Rob Roy Cocktail?

A Rob Roy Cocktail is a Scotch whisky-based classic cocktail made of Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters. It’s not difficult to make as it only requires three ingredients and a simple stirring technique. This cocktail is a variant of the Manhattan but uses Scotch whisky instead of American rye whiskey.

A side shot of a Rob Roy cocktail in a coupe glass on a white coaster placed on a black table surrounded by a jigger, a bar spoon and a striped white cloth

What is a Rob Roy Cocktail made of – The ingredients

To put together a Rob Roy Cocktail, use these ingredients:

  • Scotch Whisky: The base spirit of the cocktail, it provides a smoky and robust flavor.
  • Sweet Vermouth: This fortified wine adds sweetness and complexity to balance the strong taste of whisky.
  • Angostura Bitters: A few dashes enhance the flavor profile, adding depth and complexity.
  • Maraschino Cherry: Used as a garnish, it adds a touch of sweetness and visual appeal to the cocktail.

Scotch Whisky, sweet Vermouth and Angostura aromatic bitters laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Rob Roy Cocktail?

Master the art of making a Rob Roy Cocktail with our easy-to-understand steps:

1
<p>Start by filling a coupe glass with ice cubes. This will ensure your drink won’t warm up too fast when served.</p>

Start by filling a coupe glass with ice cubes. This will ensure your drink won’t warm up too fast when served.

2
<p>Add two dashes of Angostura bitters to the mixing glass. This will kick your Rob Roy cocktail and balance out the sweetness of the vermouth.</p>

Add two dashes of Angostura bitters to the mixing glass. This will kick your Rob Roy cocktail and balance out the sweetness of the vermouth.

3
<p>Add three-quarters of an ounce of sweet vermouth to the glass. Sweet vermouth will add a touch of sweetness and complexity to your cocktail.</p>

Add three-quarters of an ounce of sweet vermouth to the glass. Sweet vermouth will add a touch of sweetness and complexity to your cocktail.

4
<p>Pour two ounces of Scotch whisky into the glass. The Scotch whisky is the main ingredient in a Rob Roy cocktail, so make sure to use a high-quality brand.</p>

Pour two ounces of Scotch whisky into the glass. The Scotch whisky is the main ingredient in a Rob Roy cocktail, so make sure to use a high-quality brand.

5
<p>Fill the mixing glass with ice cubes. This will ensure that your cocktail is chilled to perfection.</p>

Fill the mixing glass with ice cubes. This will ensure that your cocktail is chilled to perfection.

6
<p>Stir the ingredients together for about 30-40 seconds. This will ensure that all the flavors are well combined.</p>

Stir the ingredients together for about 30-40 seconds. This will ensure that all the flavors are well combined.

7
<p>Strain the cocktail into your chilled cocktail glass. This will remove the ice cubes and any small bits of ingredients that may have been left behind.</p>

Strain the cocktail into your chilled cocktail glass. This will remove the ice cubes and any small bits of ingredients that may have been left behind.

8
<p>Garnish your cocktail with a maraschino cherry. This will add a touch of color and sweetness to your Rob Roy cocktail.</p>

Garnish your cocktail with a maraschino cherry. This will add a touch of color and sweetness to your Rob Roy cocktail.

Variations

Excited to discover new takes on the drink? Here are some favorites you might enjoy:

  • Rusty Nail: Incorporates Drambuie which introduces a honeyed and herbal sweetness to the Scotch. I enjoy this for its complex flavor profile, making it perfect for sipping on a chilly evening.
  • Bobby Burns: Mixes whisky with vermouth and includes Benedictine, enriching the overall taste with deep herbal notes. The added depth from Benedictine makes this a rich and flavorful option that I find particularly satisfying.
  • Perfect Rob Roy: Blends equal parts sweet and dry vermouth with Scotch, achieving a balanced, smooth taste. The combination of vermouth types offers a nuanced flavor that appeals to those who prefer a sophisticated edge.
  • Dry Rob Roy: Utilizes dry vermouth, lending a crisp and more austere flavor profile. This simpler, less sweet setup highlights the Scotch’s characteristics, suitable for those who enjoy a straightforward, robust taste.

A Rob Roy cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a beige table surrounded by Scotch Whisky, sweet Vermouth and Angostura aromatic bitters

History and Origin of the Rob Roy Cocktail

The Rob Roy Cocktail, a delightful blend of Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters, has an interesting history that dates back to the late 19th century. Its origin is deeply rooted in New York City’s vibrant cocktail culture.

In 1894, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City was the birthplace of this classic cocktail. The hotel’s bartenders created it to celebrate the premiere of an operetta named “Rob Roy.” This operetta was based on the life of Robert Roy MacGregor, a famous Scottish outlaw who lived in the 18th century.

The drink quickly gained popularity among patrons for its smooth yet robust flavor. It became a staple at the hotel bar and soon spread to other establishments across the city and beyond.

 

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Rob Roy cocktail?
A standard Rob Roy cocktail contains approximately 180-200 calories. However, this can vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients used and the size of the serving.
How strong is a Rob Roy cocktail?
The strength of a Rob Roy cocktail depends on the alcohol content of the Scotch whisky used. Typically, it has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of around 32% and a proof of 64. This makes it a moderately strong cocktail.
What type of alcohol is used in a Rob Roy cocktail?
Scotch whisky is the primary alcohol used. Specifically, blended Scotch whisky is traditionally used, but single malt can also be utilized for a different flavor profile.
In what type of glass is a Rob Roy cocktail served?
A Rob Roy cocktail is typically served in a chilled martini or coupe glass to maintain its temperature and enhance its presentation.
What does a Rob Roy cocktail taste like?
A Rob Roy cocktail offers a complex flavor profile that balances sweetness and smokiness. The Scotch whisky provides a smoky, malty base, while the sweet vermouth adds notes of herbal sweetness. The Angostura bitters give it an additional layer of complexity with their spicy undertones.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Rob Roy cocktail?
The classic ratio is 2 oz Scotch Whisky, ¾ oz Sweet Vermouth, and 2 dashes Angostura Bitters.
How is a Rob Roy cocktail served with ice?
It is usually stirred with ice to chill it and then strained into the serving glass without ice, also known as "up." However, some people may prefer it "on the rocks".
Is there a specific time or occasion to enjoy a Rob Roy?
While there's no specific rule about when to enjoy the cocktail, it's often served as an after-dinner drink due to its rich, complex flavors. However, it can be enjoyed anytime you're in the mood for a sophisticated, classic cocktail.
Can I make a Rob Roy at home?
Absolutely! Making the drink at home is simple as long as you have the ingredients: Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters. Remember to follow the classic ratio and serve it in a chilled glass for the best experience.

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