Scofflaw Cocktail Drink

Scofflaw

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

If a lively drink is what you’re after, the Scofflaw Cocktail recipe has all the right ingredients to make a cocktail that hits the spot!

Scofflaw Cocktail Recipe

Try our Scofflaw recipe! With its rye whiskey, lemon, and Grenadine mix, this easygoing drink is the ultimate way to unwind and beat the everyday routine.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

182 kl

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz dry Vermouth
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz grenadine
  • 1 dash Angostura orange bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Strainer and fine-strainer
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Martini Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Place your martini glass in the freezer to chill.
  • Combine Ingredients: In your cocktail shaker, combine 1 dash Angostura orange bitters, ¾ oz grenadine, ¾ oz fresh lemon juice, 1 oz dry Vermouth and 1 oz Rye Whiskey.
  • Add Ice: Fill the shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake: Shake the mixture vigorously until well-chilled.
  • Prep Glass: Remove your martini glass from the freezer.
  • Strain: Use your strainers to pour the mixture into the chilled glass, leaving the ice in the shaker.
  • Garnish: Garnish with a lemon twist.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Rye Whiskey: If you're out of rye, bourbon makes a decent stand-in, giving the drink a slightly sweeter, richer note. I've even ventured as far as using Scotch for a smokier version!
  • Dry Vermouth: No dry vermouth? White wine can fill in; just be mindful that it's not as potent. A dash of vinegar might cut the sweetness if your wine is on the sugary side.
  • Grenadine: I've replaced Grenadine with pomegranate juice and a teaspoon of sugar before—it's not the same, but it's a homemade quick fix that does the trick.
  • Orange bitters: A regular aromatic bitter with a dash of orange essence can work and will keep the drink’s spirit alive.

Making a Pitcher of Scofflaw:

  • Scale: For 8 servings, you'll need 8 oz of rye whiskey, 8 oz of dry vermouth, 6 oz of lemon juice, 6 oz of Grenadine and 8 dashes of orange bitters.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher with ice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled martini glasses, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rye Whiskey Substitute: Non-alcoholic whiskey alternatives are available, or you can use a tea-based concoction that mimics the flavor profile, like a strong, chilled black tea with a dash of vanilla extract.
  • Dry Vermouth Substitute: Choose one of the non-alcoholic alternatives in the market. 
  • Orange Bitters Substitute: choose a non-alcoholic option available in the market.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use the non-alcoholic substitute instead of rye whiskey and follow the original steps.

Making it Vegan:

  • Grenadine Check: Ensure your Grenadine is vegan. Some brands use animal products in the form of coloring or sweeteners. Opt for a natural pomegranate juice brand that sweetens with agave syrup or sugar.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeeze your lemon juice to avoid any preservatives or additives in some pre-packaged lemon juices that may not be vegan-friendly.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
182
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
9
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
19
g
6
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Potassium
 
55
mg
2
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Vitamin A
 
1
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
8
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
5
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.04
mg
0
%

 

Scofflaw Cocktail Drink

Scofflaw Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Try our Scofflaw recipe! With its rye whiskey, lemon, and Grenadine mix, this easygoing drink is the ultimate way to unwind and beat the everyday routine.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 182

Ingredients
 

  • 1 oz Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz dry Vermouth
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz grenadine
  • 1 dash Angostura orange bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Strainer and fine-strainer
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Martini Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Place your martini glass in the freezer to chill.
  • Combine Ingredients: In your cocktail shaker, combine 1 dash Angostura orange bitters, ¾ oz grenadine, ¾ oz fresh lemon juice, 1 oz dry Vermouth and 1 oz Rye Whiskey.
  • Add Ice: Fill the shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake: Shake the mixture vigorously until well-chilled.
  • Prep Glass: Remove your martini glass from the freezer.
  • Strain: Use your strainers to pour the mixture into the chilled glass, leaving the ice in the shaker.
  • Garnish: Garnish with a lemon twist.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Rye Whiskey: If you're out of rye, bourbon makes a decent stand-in, giving the drink a slightly sweeter, richer note. I've even ventured as far as using Scotch for a smokier version!
  • Dry Vermouth: No dry vermouth? White wine can fill in; just be mindful that it's not as potent. A dash of vinegar might cut the sweetness if your wine is on the sugary side.
  • Grenadine: I've replaced Grenadine with pomegranate juice and a teaspoon of sugar before—it's not the same, but it's a homemade quick fix that does the trick.
  • Orange bitters: A regular aromatic bitter with a dash of orange essence can work and will keep the drink’s spirit alive.

Making a Pitcher of Scofflaw:

  • Scale: For 8 servings, you'll need 8 oz of rye whiskey, 8 oz of dry vermouth, 6 oz of lemon juice, 6 oz of Grenadine and 8 dashes of orange bitters.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher with ice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled martini glasses, garnish with a lemon twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rye Whiskey Substitute: Non-alcoholic whiskey alternatives are available, or you can use a tea-based concoction that mimics the flavor profile, like a strong, chilled black tea with a dash of vanilla extract.
  • Dry Vermouth Substitute: Choose one of the non-alcoholic alternatives in the market. 
  • Orange Bitters Substitute: choose a non-alcoholic option available in the market.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use the non-alcoholic substitute instead of rye whiskey and follow the original steps.

Making it Vegan:

  • Grenadine Check: Ensure your Grenadine is vegan. Some brands use animal products in the form of coloring or sweeteners. Opt for a natural pomegranate juice brand that sweetens with agave syrup or sugar.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeeze your lemon juice to avoid any preservatives or additives in some pre-packaged lemon juices that may not be vegan-friendly.

What is a Scofflaw Cocktail?

A Scofflaw cocktail is a blend of rye whiskey, dry vermouth, lemon juice, and Grenadine, known for its perfect balance of sweetness and zest. The drink earned its name during the Prohibition era in the United States, representing those who defied the laws by indulging in their beloved cocktails. The Scofflaw isn’t just a cocktail; it’s a delightful nod to historical defiance and the joy of savoring a well-mixed drink. You don’t need to be a professional bartender to appreciate the rich flavors and intriguing history of the Scofflaw cocktail.

A side shot of a Scofflaw cocktail in a cocktail glass on a black stone coaster placed on a salmon cloth on a white table surrounded by five lemons, a knife, a jigger, and a shaker, in front of a grey wall.

What is a Scofflaw Cocktail made of – The ingredients

The following ingredients make up a Scofflaw cocktail:

  • Rye Whiskey: Provides the robust, spicy foundation that defines the cocktail’s character.
  • Dry Vermouth: Adds a herbal, slightly bitter complexity, balancing the whiskey’s warmth.
  • Lemon Juice: Injects a tangy zest, cutting through the cocktail’s richness for a refreshing twist.
  • Grenadine: Offers a touch of sweetness and a dash of color, rounding out the flavors.
  • Orange bitters: enhance the lemon’s citrusy with its bitter kick.

Rye Whiskey, Dry Vermouth, grenadine, orange bitters, and two lemons laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Scofflaw Cocktail?

Making a Scofflaw Cocktail is simple with our instructions:

1
<p>Place your martini or coupe glass in the freezer or fill it with ice cubes to cool while you prepare the cocktail, ensuring a refreshing experience.</p>

Place your martini or coupe glass in the freezer or fill it with ice cubes to cool while you prepare the cocktail, ensuring a refreshing experience.

2
<p>In a cocktail shaker, pour the Angostura orange bitters.</p>

In a cocktail shaker, pour the Angostura orange bitters.

3
<p>Add grenadine to the mix. </p>

Add grenadine to the mix.

4
<p>Pour lemon juice into the shaker.</p>

Pour lemon juice into the shaker.

5
<p>Incorporate dry Vermouth to the shaker. </p>

Incorporate dry Vermouth to the shaker.

6
<p>and pour Rye Whiskey into the shaker.</p>

and pour Rye Whiskey into the shaker.

7
<p>Fill the shaker with ice cubes.</p>

Fill the shaker with ice cubes.

8
<p>When using the shaker, give it a good, vigorous shake until the exterior frosts up.</p>

When using the shaker, give it a good, vigorous shake until the exterior frosts up.

9
<p>Retrieve it from the freezer or remove the ice cubes, ensuring it’s adequately chilled.</p>

Retrieve it from the freezer or remove the ice cubes, ensuring it’s adequately chilled.

10
<p>Using a cocktail strainer and a fine strainer, carefully pour your mixture into the chilled glass, leaving the ice behind.</p>

Using a cocktail strainer and a fine strainer, carefully pour your mixture into the chilled glass, leaving the ice behind.

11
<p>Squeeze the lemon peel over the glass, to spray the oils to the drink.</p>

Squeeze the lemon peel over the glass, to spray the oils to the drink.

12
<p>Run the lemon peel over the rim of the glass.</p>

Run the lemon peel over the rim of the glass.

13
<p>Drop the lemon twist into the glass.</p>

Drop the lemon twist into the glass.

14
<p>Serve immediately for a vibrant, refreshing experience of your Scofflaw cocktail.</p>

Serve immediately for a vibrant, refreshing experience of your Scofflaw cocktail.

A Scofflaw cocktail, shot from above, in a cocktail glass on a black stone coaster placed on a salmon cloth on a white table surrounded by two lemons, a knife, and a jigger.

History and Origins

The Scofflaw cocktail is deeply planted in the Prohibition era, which gave rise to many of the classic cocktails we know and love today. During Prohibition, which lasted from 1920 to 1933 in the United States, the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages were illegal. However, this didn’t stop people from enjoying their favorite libations; it just meant they had to do so discreetly.

The term “scofflaw” itself was born in 1924, the result of a contest held by The Boston Herald. The newspaper was looking for a word to describe those who openly defied the Prohibition laws. “Scofflaw,” combining the words “scoff” and “law,” perfectly encapsulated the rebellious spirit of those individuals.

In Paris, a haven for many Americans fleeing Prohibition’s limitations, the drink known as the Scofflaw cocktail first emerged. Harry’s New York Bar, a popular spot for American expatriates, is usually the place cited as the Scofflaw birthplace, but there is evidence that the drink could have been invented first at Maxime’s, another place not far away from Harry’s. The inventors decided to name this rye-based concoction after those who mocked the Prohibition laws back home. The original recipe called for rye whiskey, dry vermouth, lemon juice, and Grenadine, shaken and strained into a chilled cocktail glass.

A Scofflaw cocktail, shot from above, in a cocktail glass on white marmol table surrounded by rye whiskey, grenadine, dry vermouth, orange bitters and two lemons.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Scofflaw Cocktail?
A typical Scofflaw cocktail contains approximately 150-200 calories, depending on the exact measurements and specific ingredient brands.
How strong is a Scofflaw cocktail?
The strength can vary based on the alcohol content of the whiskey used, but generally, a Scofflaw has an ABV (Alcohol By Volume) of around 25-30%, translating to about 50-60 proof.
What alcohol is used in a Scofflaw?
The primary alcohol in a traditional Scofflaw is rye whiskey.
What glass is typically used for serving a Scofflaw?
A Scofflaw is traditionally served in a coupe or martini glass.
What does a Scofflaw taste like?
The Scofflaw offers a harmonious blend of flavors, with the spicy notes of rye whiskey, the herbal hints from dry vermouth, the tartness of lemon, and the sweet touch of Grenadine.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Scofflaw?
A classic Scofflaw maintains a ratio of one part rye whiskey and dry vermouth to 0.75 part of lemon juice and grenadine, with a dash of orange bitters.
How is a Scofflaw typically served in terms of ice?
A Scofflaw is usually shaken with ice and then strained into a glass, serving it "up" without ice.

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