When the winter doldrums set in, and the temperatures flirt with zero, I set my sights firmly on brown spirits. Whisky, not whiskey, to be exact. A dram will usually do the trick, but on occasion I like to sully that perfect spirit by making it the foundation of a Rob Roy cocktail.
If you can reconcile the fact that you’re meddling with the perfection that is scotch, with sweet vermouth and bitters, then you’ve found your perfect century-old cocktail. It’s essentially a Manhattan with a kilt, which is a fitting description seeing as it was created in New York’s Waldorf Astoria in 1894 for an opera based on the Scottish folk hero and outlaw Robert Roy MacGregor.
There is something about peated scotch and a roaring fire, but an unpeated or blended whisky for your Rob Roy will also do the trick.