Pre-Prohibition Cocktail: Rob Roy

Rob Roy

Simple and delicious the Rob Roy came to life at the Waldorf Astoria well before prohibition took hold of America in 1920. This famous cocktail was created in 1894 and named after the famous Scottish hero of the same name and whose life had been turned into an operetta that same year. While it was created 26 years before prohibition it wasn’t until the prohibition era that it really hit it’s stride when American made hooch became harder to find than the scotch that was being smuggled in.

This dead simple classic cocktail is only enhanced by the whisky you put in it. Like it smokey? Use a bold Islay. Like it smooth and a bit sweet? Use a simple blend like Bank Note, Johhnie Walker Black or the Trader Joe’s Blended Scotch. Just like with a Manhattan you can either make it sweet, dry or perfect (equal parts sweet & dry vermouth) to tailor it to your tastes. Me, I like mine perfect.

Should you want to garnish the drink, which I didn’t in the picture, then you’d use a lemon twist for the perfect and the dry versions and a cherry for the sweet. Again, this is to your taste because I prefer a cherry in my perfect Roby Roy’s and my perfect Manhattan’s.

If you give this grand old cocktail a try add your own notes or variations in the comments below.

Rob Roy Cocktail Recipe

2 oz Scotch
3/4 oz Vermouth
1 dash Orange Bitters
Stir with ice & strain


Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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