Learn how to make the Perfect Rob Roy Scotch Manhattan cocktail recipe.
Scotland is home to many award-winning whisky brands, which is the key ingredient in a classic Scotch Manhattan.
Muddle your favourite premium Scotch whisky with sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, Angostura bitters and garnish with Maraschino cherries.
We love serving this Scottish cocktail as a festive holiday drink in the fall at Thanksgiving, winter during the holiday Christmas season or Rabby Burns Day on January 25th.
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What Is a Perfect Rob Roy Cocktail?
The Rob Roy is a cocktail consisting primarily of whisky and vermouth, created in 1894 by a bartender at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan, New York City.
The drink was named in honor of the premiere of Rob Roy, an operetta by composer Reginald De Koven and lyricist Harry B. Smith loosely based upon Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor.
A Rob Roy is similar to a Manhattan, but is made exclusively with Scotch whisky, while the Manhattan is traditionally made with rye and today commonly made with bourbon or Canadian whisky.
Like the classic Manhattan recipe, the Rob Roy can be made “sweet”, “dry”, or “perfect”. The standard Rob Roy is the sweet version, made with sweet vermouth, so there is no need to specify a “sweet” Rob Roy when ordering. A “dry” Rob Roy is made by replacing the sweet vermouth with dry vermouth. A “perfect” Rob Roy is made with equal parts sweet and dry vermouth.
The Scotch Manhattan recipe below features our take on the Perfect Rob Roy, which you can easily make at home in under 5 minutes!
Travel To Scotland to Sip the Best Scotch Manhattan
There’s no better way to familiarize yourself with the Perfect Rob Roy Scotch Manhattan cocktail recipe then by planning a vacation to visit the world’s best whisky distilleries.
Some of the world’s most famous whisky distilleries can be found in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In Scotland we enjoyed a scenic road trip to the Isle of Islay, which is best known for its famous Islay Scotch whisky distilleries. If you’re looking to experience the best things to do on the Isle of Islay visit award-winning distilleries like Bruichladdich, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Bowmore.
We also suggest sipping local Scottish whisky on the Isle of Skye, Glasgow, Edinburgh and The Highlands. One of our favourite things to do in Edinburgh is the The Scotch Whisky Experience.
Every pub, bar, restaurants and hotel cocktail bar in Scotland (including the tiniest Bed and Breakfast) offers a selection Scotch bottles, ready to satisfy a weary, thirsty traveler.
Once you’ve arrived in Scotland on holiday we suggest asking your nearest bartender to fix you a traditional Scotch Manhattan, Perfect Rob Roy style.
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Best Bartender Tools & Cocktail Equipment
Before hosting a swanky Scotch Manhattan cocktail soiree you’ll need to ensure you have the best bartender tools and cocktail equipment.
- Cocktail Kit: cocktail kits are the perfect gift for newbie mixology fans as they include basic bartender tools like a jigger, shaker and spoon.
- Cocktail Shaker: a bartenders best friend. Purchase a premium cocktail shaker to muddle or shake up your favourite pink gin cocktails.
- Cocktail Glassware: make sure your bar is stocked with a selection of unique glassware to show off your favourite cocktail creations.
- Hawthorne Strainer: this unique strainer features tightly wound coils and perforated holes. It keeps ice and other large ingredients like lime wedges in your cocktail shaker rather than in the glass.
- Bar Spoons: slender and long bar spoons are a must-have when stirring drinks.
- Bottle Opener: easily open bottles of beer or cider with the flick of your wrist or purchase a corkscrew for fine wine.
- Pouring Spout: once you’ve opened a new bottle of gin insert these affordable pourers to make cocktail assembly a breeze.
- Cutting Board: purchase a petite cutting board for your bar to slice garnishes or citrus wedges like lime, orange, lemon or grapefruit.
- Ice Bucket: chill bottles of gin quickly in an ice bucket or keep by the bar when muddling gin mixers into cool creations.
- Ice Crusher: fans of the Mint Julep love an ice crusher.
- Ice Cube Kit: we suggest purchasing a selection of ice cube trays. Silicone styles are our favourite as they’re easy to clean and are available in various shapes and sizes.
- Jigger: use a jigger to accurately measure spirits, juices, syrups and shrubs.
- Juicer: invest in an electronic juicer or buy an affordable hand-held to easily juice fresh citrus like lemons and limes.
- Muddler: fans of the Mojito love a sturdy muddler to mix mint and lime. Muddler’s are handy for any cocktail featuring ingredients that need a pounding like fresh herbs or citrus wedges.
- Citrus Peeler & Zester: adorn your craft cocktails with a thick citrus peel or finer ribbons of lime or lemon zest.
- Rimmer: Bloody Mary and Caesar lovers should outfit their bar with a handy rimmer for salting and sugaring glassware.
10 Best Scotch Whisky Brands
If it’s your first time making a homemade Scotch Manhattan you’ll want to sample a selection of premium whisky bottles distilled in Scotland. Here are a few of our favourite Scotch brands:
- Chivas Regal
- Johnnie Walker
- The Glenlivet
Scotch Manhattan Cocktail Ingredients
The Perfect Rob Roy cocktail is made with these quality ingredients:
- Scotch Whisky: if you’ve never sipped a peated whisky, we highly recommend using a classic Scotch from the Isle of Islay for a very unique Scottish sipping experience.
- Vermouth: the Perfect Rob Roy features equal parts dry vermouth and sweet vermouth. You can also make a sweet or dry Scotch Manhattan using just one of these bottles.
- Bitters: add a few dashes of bitters to round out your cocktail. You can use classic Angostura Bitters or a seasonally appropriate flavour such as Pear Bitters.
- Garnish: adorn the rocks glass with a slice or wedge of fresh lemon and Luxardo Maraschino Cherry.
Perfect Rob Roy Cocktail Tips
This Scotch Manhattan recipe is easy to make at home, ready to serve in 5 to 10 minutes.
We love serving a traditional Scotch Manhattan in the fall and winter months as they do a great job at warming you up on a cold day. The recipe is a real crowd pleaser at holiday parties and Thanksgiving dinners. And don’t forget Rabby Burns Day on January 25th!
This recipe serves one person. If you’re hosting a large gathering feel free to multiply the ingredients by the number of guests and muddle the drink in a punch bowl or jug rather than a cocktail shaker.
If you don’t have cherries feel free to use a lemon twist instead.
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How To Make the Perfect Rob Roy Scotch Manhattan
Perfect Rob Roy Scotch Manhattan Cocktail
- Cocktail Shaker
- Shot Glass
- Cocktail Glass
- Cocktail spoon
- 1.5 oz Scotch Whisky
- 0.25 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 0.25 oz Dry Vermouth
- 2 dashes Bitters
- Maraschino Cherry Garnish
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the Scotch, vermouth, and bitters.
- Stir with a cocktail spoon then strain into a chilled rocks glass and garnish with a cherry.
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