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.
Is there a better way to have fruits than with a cocktail? While some may argue in favour of desserts or salads, Frank Sinatra put forward an irrefutable argument, “I feel sorry for people that don't drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that is the best they are going to feel all day.”
While in Tokyo a couple of years ago, I walked into Bar Helissio for an afternoon tipple.
Not all cocktails need exotic elements to be enjoyed in the warm months. Some can be mixed within minutes with ingredients found easily at home. One such gem is the Highland Bramble. Its punchy, fruity, and tarty flavours allure you into a joyful ambience of a warm summer morning in the highlands or countryside.