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Best Rusty Nail Cocktail Recipes 2019

The Rusty Nail is a classic cocktail made with Drambuie and Scotch, no tetanus shot required. Drambuie is a Scotch-based liqueur, so the Rusty Nail is a fantastic drink choice for anyone who is a fan of Scotch. You sip it slow, just like you sip Scotch. And, you can use your top-shelf Scotch in it without fear that it will be diluted or take anything away from its flavor or quality. The Rusty Nail is a classy, sophisticated drink with a lot of history, flavor and style, sure to please nearly anyone.

The first Drambuie and Scotch drink was served in 1937. It was created by F. Benniman who named it the B.I.F., which makes sense because it was first served at the British Industries Fair. After that, it went by many names and was served in many places. The Rusty Nail in its current carnation was first made by bartenders in Manhattan at the 21 Club in the early 60’s. The Rat Pack, a group of famous entertainers, favored the drink and this led to its widespread popularity at the time.

It’s a pretty simple drink to create, which is probably one of the reasons it’s become a classic. Drambuie is sweet, which helps to take the edge off the whisky. It’s pretty impossible to screw one up entirely. The drink is made up of only whisky, liqueur and ice. So, if it’s too sweet, add more whisky. If it’s got too much of a bite to it, add more Drambuie. If it’s not cold enough, add more ice. And, voila! It’s fixed!

It is worth noting that because it’s just whisky and liqueur, the Rusty Nail is a strong drink. It’s probably a good thing that it’s served with ice because it dilutes it a bit. And, without the ice you would basically just be drinking straight whisky. Because of that, it’s a drink more suited for the evening. Although delicious, it’s not a great idea to drink several on your lunch break and then go back in to work. And, while you won’t need a tetanus shot after drinking several Rusty Nails, if you don’t drink them in moderation, you’ll likely end up with a nasty hangover the next day.

IBA Official Drink Recipe

This is a pretty simple recipe to create. Although some people seem to think that you simply must pour the ingredients in and layer them in some specific way, the IBA doesn’t seem to think so.

Ingredients

  • 5 cl Scotch Whiskey
  • 5 cl Drambuie

Directions

  • Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice
  • Pour ingredients over ice
  • Stir
  • Garnish with lemon twist
  • Serve

Classic Rusty Nail

This recipe takes the guesswork out of the equation. You won’t have to guess what any of the measurements are. And, if it tastes off to you, you can always add more Drambuie or Scotch to fit your own preferences.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Drambuie
  • 1 oz Scotch

Directions

  • Add all the ingredients into a rocks glass with ice
  • Stir
  • Serve

Smooth Rusty Nail by Andi Gleeson

This recipe was created by Andi Gleeson. She says it’s sweeter and smoother than a traditional Rusty Nail, simply because she messed with the proportions a bit.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz Scotch whisky
  • 1 oz Drambuie
  • 1 slice lemon

Directions

  • Fill a rocks glass with ice
  • Pour Scotch and Drambuie over ice
  • Float the lemon slice on top
  • Serve

Rusty Nail Shake

Some brilliant person created this drink, which blends the Scotch and Drambuie with ice cream. This drink requires a little more preparation than the original recipe because you have to use a blender, rather than simply stirring some alcohol together in a glass. But the payoff is worth it because it creates a smooth, rich and creamy texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint (2 cups) vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1 oz Scotch
  • 1 oz Drambuie
  • Chopped toasted pecans (garnish)

Directions

  • Put ice cream, Scotch and Drambuie into the blender
  • Blend until smooth, but not enough that it isn’t still thick
  • Pour into 2 chilled stemmed glasses
  • Garnish with pecans
  • Serve

The Crusty Nail

This is a simple variation of the Rusty Nail with a bit of an Australian twist. There’s lots of flavor and spice, which makes it a fantastic drink to leisurely sip on a chilly evening.

Ingredients

  • 5 oz Tasmanian malt whiskey
  • 5 oz Drambuie
  • Ground cloves

Directions

  • To rim glass: place ground cloves on a plate. Wet the rim of the glass a bit. Dip glass into cloves. The coating should make the glass look rusty, but you should still be able to see through it.
  • Fill glass 3/4 full of ice
  • Pour in the other ingredients
  • Stir
  • Serve

Silver Nail

This variation adds gin and lemon juice to the mix, which can balance the flavors in the Rusty Nail out a bit. It’s citrusy, sweet and a little a bit lighter, as a result. But it still captures all of the original flavor and sophistication of a Rusty Nail.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz blended Scotch
  • 1 oz Drambuie
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice

Directions

  • Fill a rocks glass 3/4 full of ice
  • Pour all of the ingredients in the glass
  • Stir
  • Garnish with lemon twist
  • Serve

Bloody Nail

While the name may sound gross to most people, the drink is actually delicious. It was created by bartender, Zachary Nelson, who combined a Rusty Nail with a Blood and Sand. It’s a great way to add some fruity flavor to a Rusty Nail.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Scotch
  • 1/2 oz Drambuie
  • 1/2 oz Cherry Heering
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 flamed orange peel, garnish

Directions

  • Pour all ingredients, except garnish, into a mixing glass with ice
  • Stir for around 20-25 seconds until cold
  • Strain into old-fashioned glass filled 3/4 full with ice
  • Garnish with the flamed orange peel
  • Serve

Oaxacan Rusty Nail

This is a brilliant creation that pairs Mezcal with Drambuie. The Mezcal replaces the Scotch that usually appears in a Rusty Nail, but there are so many flavors present that you won’t miss it. It’s spicy, sweet and fruity all at the same time, which makes it a great drink for Summer sipping.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz Mezcal
  • 3/4 oz Drambuie
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 slice jalapeno
  • Ice
  • 1 orange peel

Directions

  • In a cocktail shaker, add Mezcal, Drambuie, orange bitters and jalapeno
  • Use a muddler or spoon to muddle the jalapeno a bit
  • Add in a handful of ice, then shake until cold
  • Run the orange peel around the rim of a glass. Twist it to express the oils in it, then drop into glass.
  • Strain the mixture over the orange peel in the glass
  • Serve

You can’t go wrong with any of the recipes on this list. The Rusty Nail is so simple that you can’t mess it up, and so delicious that you’d drink it even if you had managed to somehow. No matter which version you choose, you’ll enjoy sipping these drinks so much that it’s likely to become your new favorite go-to drink.