Original recipes for the Rob Roy, which date back to the early twentieth century, called for equal parts sweet vermouth and scotch. Over time it developed a ratio of 2½ times as much scotch as sweet vermouth. Most bars and restaurants make delicious Rob Roys with lighter blended scotches. For a more robust drink, try using a full-bodied scotch, such as Chivas Regal, or even a single malt, such as Glenlivet 10-year-old.
Yield: Makes four 3½-ounce drinks
10 ounces scotch
4 ounces sweet vermouth
4 dashes Angostura bitters
4 lemon twists (see Notes) for garnish
Fill a pitcher with ice and add the scotch, sweet vermouth, and bitters. Stir until the outside of the pitcher is thoroughly beaded with sweat and is extremely cold to the touch.
Strain into the cocktail glasses. Twist a lemon twist over each glass and float it on top of the drink.
ORANGE ROB ROY For a hint of orange, prepare the Rob Roy using orange bitters (see Mail-order Sources) in place of the Angostura bitters, and orange twists instead of lemon twists.
PLANNING AHEAD Place the cocktail glasses in the freezer or refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
TWISTS are 1- to 1½-inch-long oval or rectangular slivers of lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, or other citrus rind. Twists are, in fact, twisted over a cocktail, releasing their essential oils into the drink. Thicker-skinned, evenly colored fresh, ripe fruits produce more of the fruit’s essential oils than thin-skinned ones yield.