In honor of Mike Doughty, here’s The Rob Roy:

  • 2.5 ounces Scotch
  • 1.0 ounce sweet vermouth (or more for a sweeter drink)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine in an iced cocktail glass. Stir and strain into a cocktail glass or onto fresh rocks in a rocks glass. Either way, garnish with a cherry.

The reason I made this in honor of Mike Doughty is due to a lyric in his song “Lorna Zauberberg”, one of my favorites:

Vicious mobs of candy-ravers stalk the night
And methadonians sleep right where they stand
A weeping tranny is cradling a steak knife
And you’re happily slugging Rob Roys with your man


Plus, today is the start of his Living Room Tour 2016. Trust me, these intimate shows are not to be missed.

Anyway, back to the drink. The Rob Roy is pretty much a Manhattan made with Scotch. Now, most people wouldn’t consider messing with the king of cocktails, but this can be a very good drink. It was invented in 1894 at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan, and named after an operetta that had just opened.

I did find a reference that states the original recipe called for dry vermouth instead of sweet, although that is now known as a Dry Rob Roy. A Perfect Rob Roy divides the vermouth between both sweet and dry varieties.

There is also some disagreement on the garnish. Traditionally it is a cherry (or a couple on a pick) but some call for a twist of lemon or a twist or orange.

Rating: 4/5

Notes: Most recipes call for blended Scotch whisky, so I used Famous Grouse (my go-to for the Blood and Sand as well). I used Carpano Antica for my sweet vermouth, and as usual it helps if it is fresh (I buy it in 375ml bottles for that reason).

The Rob Roy