Rob Roy

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The Rob Roy is a cocktail consisting of Scotch whisky, vermouth and bitters. Angostura Bitters is most common, but orange bitters has a more historical precedent. Some have found Peychaud's Bitters to be an ideal complement to the Scotch.

The most common modern version of this cocktail calls for Scotch and sweet vermouth. Historical recipes often used dry vermouth. When the latter is used, it may be called a Dry Rob Roy or a Scotini.


A Common Recipe

May be served on the rocks or straight up.

Barry Popik says

"In 1894, the opera Rob Roy opened around Herald Square. The old Waldorf Hotel was near Herald Square. It is probably correct that the "Rob Roy" cocktail began at the Waldorf in 1894 or soon thereafter, although we do not have early historical confirmation of this."

Centralia Enterprise And Tribune, 4th December 1897

"The Fifth Avenue hotel has two new drinks this winter, the Star cocktail and the Rob Roy cocktail. The Star has a flavor of Jersey about it, for its chief ingredient is apple jack, vermouth and orange bitters making up the rest. Of course, the Rob Roy is made of Scotch whisky. It is completed by vermouth and orange bitters."

Be A Good Mixer, Here's How; by Emmet Atherton, 1933

Rob Roy Cocktail

  • Fill glass half full with shaved ice.
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • One quarter wine glass Scotch Whiskey [sic]
  • One Quarter wine glass French Vermouth

Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist a piece of lemon peel on top and serve

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