Named after folk hero Rob Roy Macgregor, the Rob Roy has quite an interesting background. The drink made its first appearance in 1894 in Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria. Many would argue that the name was borrowed from a hit play, ‘Rob Roy’ hosted by the Herald Square, located close to the original Waldorf. The operetta possibly intended to make connections with the bar by lending the name.
The advent of the cocktail marked the inception of blended Scotch in the United States. Rob Roy is often referred as the Scotch Manhattan, as it holds close resemblance to the all-time favorite ‘Manhattan’. The ‘scotch’ in Rob Roy substitutes the ‘bourbon’ in its counterpart. Originally, Manhattan was served with rye, before bourbon made an entry. Two introduce aromatics, Angostura bitters is added to Rob Roy. A variant, called Highland, uses orange bitter in place of Angostura.
The cocktail is made with sweet vermouth, making it a sweet drink. A variant exists with dry vermouth too. The perfect blend of ‘sweet’ and ‘dry’, makes the Rob Roy a hard-to-turn-down cocktail.
Mix your own Rob Roy
Use blended Scotch whisky, which makes your job easier in the shaker. The smoky or peaty scotches are best sipped without mixing.
Add two ounces of blended scotch in a shaker filled with ice. Add 1 ounce of vermouth and 2 dashes of Angostura or orange bitters. Stir the ingredients well for about 20 seconds and strain into a martini, or other attractive cocktail glass. For garnish, use a cherry or a lemon twist. Some deviate a bit from the typical, and go for an orange peel for garnishing. Refrigerate the vermouth for a reasonable period of time so that the freshness is retained.
The City of Dreams, with its eclectic mix of people, chawls, and high rises, the sea, churches, and pao bhaji, has an electric vibe to it. Countless faces that throng the pigeon holes of Bombay carry a myriad of untold stories within themselves. Someone somewhere said that the city never sleeps.
A drink named after a prima donna of an opera company from Ontario, supremely popular in the 1900s but forgotten in the coming years, that’s Mamie Taylor for you. The very popular singer-actress, Mamya Taylor is rumoured to have requested a ‘long, hard drink’ after one of her performances at a downtown bar. And the bartender in charge was only too eager to please the princess.