The Rob Roy

3 oz. Teacher’s blended Scotch whisky
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
4 dashes Fee’s orange bitters

Ice well, stirring, swirling, or otherwise gently chilling, and strain. A maraschino cherry is the traditional garnish.

The Rob Roy is a fine cocktail that almost any liquor cabinet should be able to produce: it asks for little in the way of the exotic and doesn’t even require fresh fruit! I judge it to be mild, smooth and delicious… a pale, aromatic, eminently quaffable concoction. I made a few this evening after noting that Looka!‘s cocktail of the day today was the Perfect Manhattan, which seemed a good idea. Forgetting that I have a bottle of bourbon, I reached for the scotch instead, the substitution of which yields a Rob Roy. Quite a happy accident.

3 thoughts on “The Rob Roy”

  1. I think it’s time I worked on my bar some more, as I’ve been neglecting my basic components. My girlfriend is a complete cocktail nut, but neither of us has had room to store a proper selection of spirits until recently. On a related note, I think I’ll take some time this summer shopping the yard sales for a tall cabinet I could turn into a neat mini-bar. I need to take my drinking more seriously, after all.

  2. Yarr. In terms of stocking-up, what worked for me was pretty much forcing myself to buy ingredients at regular intervals, say once or twice a week, instead of planning to drop several C-notes on a car full of bottles all at once.

    First time out, cover the basics. Make sure to come home with whisky (or bourbon or rye), light rum and dark rum, gin and both sweet and dry vermouth (tequila and vodka, too, if you care for ’em). Then, start browsing cocktail books and sites looking for things you’d like to make. You’ll invariably find that you can’t make most of those drinks without buying something else.

    Instead of just thinking “oh well, no Chartreuse… guess I can’t make a Bijou,” hit the store on the way home from work and buy some Chartreuse. Then, discover that the Bijou is OK, but not really what you were looking for, browse around some more and find that you’d rather have an Aviation, but that requires maraschino, so…

    In the end, you’ll wind up with a load of stuff that you use infrequently, or in small quantities, but which (since it’s alcohol) has a fantastic shelf life. I can’t think of the last time I’ve used my parfait amour, for example, but it’s there when something calls for it.

    Don’t feel shy about buying 375 ml bottles of unusual things if you’re not sure you’re going to care for them. Galliano, Chartreuse, Midori and other rarely-wanted liqueurs usually come in half-sizes. And yeah, it’s a serious business 😉

  3. 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.”

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