The Bobby Burns cocktail is a simple, 3 ingredient drink that consists of Scotch, vermouth and Benedictine. There’s a bit of controversy over who the drink was named after, but it IS drank to celebrate Robert Burns’ birthday, January 25th, or Burns Night. And others say that it was named after a cigar salesman who sold Robert Burns cigars. To determine whether it was named after him or not, one must know a bit about the history of the drink.
It’s been around since at least the 1930’s, when it was first listed in Harry Craddock’s 1930 book, The Savoy Cocktail Book. This recipe was the English version of the drink. The American version was published in Albert Stevens Crockett’s 1931 book, the Old Waldorf Bar Days. It was a different recipe with a different name, the Robert Burns. So, it’s possible that the English version was named after the Scottish poet, while the American version was named after a cigar salesman.
But, no matter who the drinks were named after, it’s better to think of them as “fun with Scotch and vermouth”. So, here are the best Scotch and vermouth recipes:
This is a sophisticated, elegant drink that is well-balanced. It’s definitely worthy of being named after a Scottish poet. And, it’s easy to create, so it may just become your new favorite end-of-the-night cocktail!
It’s easy to see the difference between the Bobby Burns cocktail and the Robert Burns cocktail, which is mainly absinthe. But, the absinthe brings an unexpected complexity to the drink. Don’t add more than a dash because otherwise the absinthe will overpower the other flavors!
This drink is similar to the Bobby Burns cocktail in that its base ingredients are Scotch and vermouth. It’s just as easy to make as the Bobby Burns is. Just make sure you pick a good, flavorful Scotch because the Scotch flavors really shine in this drink.
This is a strong drink (probably around 58 proof) that’s easy to create. It’s made with Scotch and amaretto. It was invented in the 1970’s, around the time the Godfather movie came out, which is where it gets its name from, and is probably named this because of the Italian amaretto liqueur. You’ll want to use a medium to high-quality Scotch in this drink, and the amaretto will add a little bit of sweetness to it to balance it out. You’ll want to sip it slowly and enjoy it!
Can’t get enough Scotch? This is the drink for you! It’s a combination of Scotch whisky and Drambuie, which is a Scotch-based liqueur. Some people love a half-and-half ratio of both ingredients, but it can come out really sweet when made that way, so this recipe is tailored with that in mind. If you want your drink sweeter, add more Drambuie and enjoy!
This recipe from Men’s Journal uses a great single malt Scotch, vermouth, Calvados and Peychaud’s bitters. It’s like a Manhattan, but with Scotch. So, if you’re a fan of Manhattans, you’ll like it, and if you’re a fan of Scotch, you’ll love it. And, it’s a great drink to serve at parties because it will please everyone. (Plus the flaming orange peel is fun!)
While other recipes on this list focus on Scotch, this one is mainly vermouth. There are both sweet and dry vermouths in it, along with orange juice. It’s not as well-known as the Manhattan, but it should be because it’s delicious!
It doesn’t matter if you’re drinking to celebrate your Scottish heritage, to celebrate Burns Day, or simply because you either like Scotch or vermouth, the drinks on this list are great for any occasion. I’m also not sure it matters whether the drinks were inspired by the poet or the cigar salesman. Maybe you could drink either a drink made with Scotch, vermouth, or both while enjoying a cigar and call it a day!