How to Make a Rob Roy

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Like many things in life, sometimes simple is best when it comes to your cocktail of choice! The Rob Roy is a zero frills classic Scotch cocktail (like The Godfather) that feels like it’s been around forever because it kind of has. Since the 19th century to be precise.

The very first Rob Roy as made in the Waldorf Astoria and named after a Broadway show that was playing at the time! The play told the tale of a bonafide Scottish Robin Hood of the 18th century called… you guessed it… Robert Roy McGregor.

Rob Roy Cocktail in a Chilled glass
Rob Roy Cocktail

Rob Roy Cocktail

In the most basic sense, the Rob Roy is best compared to a Manhattan made with Scotch rather than bourbon. This 3 ingredient cocktail has that same vermouth sweetness and reddish coloring, but the difference in taste is substantial enough to make it stand apart from the regular Manhattan.

Even if you’re not usually a big fan of regular scotch, you may find yourself making an allowance for this warming cocktail when the colder seasons roll around. This is the perfect drink to unwind after a long day as it’s definitely not a “light drink” but it’s not too overpowering either.

Whipping up this cocktail is pretty easy and it’s hard to get it wrong. As long as you have a nicely blended scotch then you’re going to at least come up with something palatable on your first try. After that, practice makes perfect!


  • Scotch
  • Sweet vermouth
  • Angostura bitters

How To Make a Rob Roy

  • Add the ingredients into a mixing glass and stir.
  • Strain and pour into a chilled glass and serve.
  • To garnish, a simple cherry does the trick (I go for brandied or maraschino)!

Tips And Tricks For Making a Rob Roy

  • I prefer to use a blended Scotch but you can use a single malt too. It’s really just down to your own preference. The Scotch definitely shines through in this drink so make sure you use one that you’re most fond of (i.e. don’t be afraid to dig that premium Scotch out of the cabinet for this one!).
  • You can use as much or a little sweet vermouth as you wish. Some people like to use a 3:1 ratio, whatever works for you.
  • A Rob Roy can also be served on the rocks old-school style if you prefer.
  • For dry Rob Roy, use dry vermouth instead and an olive to garnish.

Close-up chilled glass with Rob Roy Cocktail

More Scotch Cocktails to Try:

How to Make a Godfather (Cocktail)

The Mickie Walker Cocktail

Pineapple Peat – A Peated Scotch Cocktail

Or if you just want something basic, why not try my Boilermaker recipe?





How to Make a Rob Roy

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Rob Roy

The Rob Roy is a classic cocktail made with whisky and vermouth.
5 from 4 votes
Rob Roy Cocktail
Prep Time
5 minutes
Total Time
5 minutes
Mixing Glass
Karlynn Johnston


  • 2 ounces scotch
  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters


  • Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir.
  • Strain and pour into a chilled glass and serve.
  • Garnish with a cherry (brandied or maraschino)

Recipe Notes

Use a good scotch for this drink, don't cheap out!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 173kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Sugar: 1g

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Hey everyone! I'm Mike (Mr. Kitchen Magpie). When I'm not sharing cocktail recipes here and on my Instagram (@mrkitchenmagpie), I'm enjoying a nice bottle of scotch in a vintage glass from my barware collection.

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