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How to Make a Rob Roy

Take the Manhattan and give it a Scottish accent and you have your Rob Roy! Although it’s simple to make, this Gaelic cocktail is different than its American counterpart, but equally as enjoyable!

Rob Roy 1

Rob Roy is a classic cocktail that has been around for over a century. Although named Rob Roy MacGregor, think Scottish Robin Hood from Ayrshire, not Nottinghamshire, the Rob Roy cocktail was probably never enjoyed by the generous lad.

The cocktail was created at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Fifth Avenue in the late 1800s. Robbie was immortalized in the Sir Walter Scott novel of the same name which then became a Broadway play and operetta. It’s all there is black and white in “The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book.” 

The Scottish take on the classic Manhattan cocktail became all the rage and has never left us since!

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Where to find ingredients for Rob Roy cocktails

You can find all the ingredients at Spirits Kiosk (10% off the entire site by quoting this code: ALushLife10SK.) in the UK; or in the USA!

What goes into a Rob Roy?

Just the three main ingredients and a maraschino cherry!

  • Scotch Whisky: Writing Scotch whisky as an ingredient is kind of insane. Every Scotch whisky is so different. It’s really up to you which you want to try, be it a blended Scotch whisky like Monkey Shoulder or Famous Grouse or a single malt scotch, like Highland Park or Glenfiddich. You could even try an Islay whisky which will give it a smoky undertone.
  • Sweet Vermouth: I love Italian vermouth, especially Carpano Antica Formula vermouth for my Rob Roy
  • Angostura: Aromatic bitters give the drink its spice, so don’t forget them. The bitters add depth and complexity to the drink, making it truly unique.
  • The cocktail cherry: We could have a debate on cocktail cherries. Some swear by the 1970’s type maraschino, but most of us prefer to class it up a bit with Luxardo maraschino cherries or brandied cherries.

What tools you need to make Rob Roy

You won’t be needing a cocktail shaker for this one – it’s a stirred cocktail! Grab a jigger, a barspoon, mixing glass, strainer and a chilled cocktail glass for this Rob Roy recipe.

Here is how you can make this drink effortlessly:

  • Step 1: In a mixing glass, add the whisky, sweet vermouth and bitters.
  • Step 2: Stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Step 3: Once ready, strain to a coupe.
  • Step 4: Garnish with a cherry and serve. Bottoms up!
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Here are a few variations on the Rob Roy!

  • Bourbon version: Yes, you can make this with bourbon, but don’t call it a Rob Roy, because bourbon is an American whiskey!
  • Rye whiskey version:  We call this a Manhattan. 😉
  • Dry Rob Roy Cocktail: This drink is made with scotch whisky, dry vermouth, and Angostura bitters. It is less sweet, but try it!

Where to find more whisky recipes

Here are a few of my favorites:

 Plus more fun recipes here

Here is the recipe!

Rob Roy

Rob Roy

Take the Manhattan, give it a Scottish accent and you have your Rob Roy! This cocktail is different than its American counterpart! Guess why?
No ratings yet
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine Scottish
Servings 1
Calories 184 kcal


  • 50 ml or 2oz Scottish Whisky
  • 20 ml or 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dash Angostura
  • Maraschino cherries


  • Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass
  • Add ice
  • Stir, stir, stir
  • Strain into a cocktail glass
  • Garnish with cherries


Serving: 1gCalories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 6gSodium: 3mgSugar: 4g
Keyword rob roy, Scottish Whisky, Whisky
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