Maybe it’s all the Bing Crosby playing this time of year or the replays of, It’s A Wonderful Life, on the television, but when it comes to choosing cocktails for the holidays, we like to go classic.
Take the Rob Roy for example. This cousin of the Manhattan has a solid pedigree: it is thought to have been created in the 1890s at the Waldorf Astoria in New York as an ode to the Rob Roy play, which opened close to the hotel. (The Scotch whiskey is a nod to the play’s Scottish hero.)
And while it might not have the overtly festive reputation of Egg Nog, the Rob Roy hits all the right notes: a little smoky (depending on your Scotch), a little sweet, not too fussy, plenty boozy — plus two festive cherries to boot. And should you have a crowd on your hands, have no fear — it’s plenty easy to make.
2 ounces Scotch whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 dash angostura bitters
Garnish: Two brandied cherries, such as Luxardo or lemon twist
Glassware: Coupe or cocktail
In a mixing glass, add the Scotch, vermouth, bitters, and ice. Stir until chilled, then strain into a coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a pair of brandied cherries on a spear or lemon twist.