Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Perfect Rob Roy

Somehow the “Perfect” Manhattan and Martini cocktails (those with both sweet and dry vermouth) always seemed like a way to spoil a sweet or dry cocktail formula that was already perfect. Why would anyone think those were good? But I’ve come to understand that you just gotta try things in the name of science. You never know.

And the Perfect Rob Roy is a revelation. Of all the old drinks I’ve tried, there are certainly older, though the PRR has the power of conjuring a past that vanished just after the beginning of my lifetime. Maybe it’s the blended scotch, the malts processed and smoothed, sort of like turning a tartan into a checked sport coat. The two vermouths complete the lounge suit effect: confusing, slightly neutralizing, wearable for every occasion.

There should always be bitters. The great gaz regan recommends Peychaud’s for the Rob Roy in general. His own Regans’ No. 6 is delicious in this as well. (I’m drinking one now.) I’m inclined to agree with him that Angostura is not particularly nice in this drink, though it’s as Mid-Century here as a midnight blue Impala.

Perfect Rob Roy
  • 2 oz blended scotch (Johnnie Walker Black Label)
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • Peychaud’s or orange bitters, to taste
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Lemon or orange twist.

Sometimes you see a cherry in a Rob Roy. A very red one is bizarre at best, though a brandied one would be OK.

Paper design: Flex, Jean Orlebeke, eieio.


  1. I have to say... your blog is one of the most terse, but it continually delivers some of the best content.

    I had never heard of this variation before, but I just tried it with orange bitters, and it kicked ass.

    I also just made one with aged (Barbados) rum and it also kicked.

    Huzzah to you, sir.

  2. Thank you, thank you!

    I just love scotch and orange.

    Gonna have to try the Barbados. That sounds good.

  3. There's also something a little mid-century about that photo backdrop. Well done!


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