Another forgotten mid century classic cocktail combines scotch whisky and a liqueur made from scotch and honey for a smoky sweet delight.
The Rusty Nail is a relative newcomer to the scene as it appears to have been created in the 1960's by a famous New York bar. This drink is a duo cocktail, meaning that there are only two ingredients. Don't let the simplicity fool you though. The Scotch provides a smokey smoothness and the liqueur, Drambuie, is a sweet complex blend of scotch, honey and spices.
Drambuie is a wonderful liqueur that has been produced in Scotland since at least the late 1800's from a secret blend of scotch, honey, spices and herbs. I can still remember their advertising jingle from when I was a little kid--back when they could advertise alcohol on TV.
Some versions of the recipe call for equal parts scotch and Drambuie, but I prefer to go the more traditional route and use more scotch than Drambuie so that I get the full effect of the smokey whisky.
What you'll need
The list of ingredients is very straightforward for this mid century cocktail.
- Large ice cube--round or square is fine
- Blended Scotch Whisky
- Drambuie liqueur
This cocktail is perfect to pour into an Old Fashioned glass. Use a large ice cube to keep it cold while you sip it. You can always use a twist of lemon as well to give the drink more of a citrus taste if you like.
Tips for a Successful Rusty Nail
This cocktail was probably so popular because it was so tasty and simple to put together. But I will invoke my major rule for cocktail making:
- Always mix with spirits that you would drink neat. Meaning never mix with an inferior-tasting spirit and hope that the mixer will 'cover it up'. It doesn't. My golden rule is that if I wouldn't drink it or serve it to guests on its own, then I will not mix with it either.
- In the spirit (see what I did there?) of the above tip, I prefer to use a Johnny Walker Black 12- year old scotch to make this drink. It is smooth and smokey and consistently good because the Scotts have been blending whiskys for centuries and know how to make a consistent winner every time.
Which version of the Rusty Nail do you prefer? More whisky or equal parts ingredients?
The Rusty Nail is Double Scotch and Honey Goodness.
- 1.5 ounces of blended scotch whisky
- ¾ ounce of Drambuie
- Lemon peel garnish
- Place a large ice cube in a rocks glass and pour scotch and liqueur over.
- Stir to mix.
- Top with a lemon twist for garnish.