Dedicated cocktailians are always searching for an excuse to try a new cocktail. Well, look no further: January 25 is Bobby Burns Day, the birthday of the Bard of Ayrshire, famed Scottish poet, Robert Burns. In a further stroke of luck, Burns has a cocktail named after him. So if your taste leans toward Scotch, you might want to try a Bobby Burns cocktail, especially if you’ve never had one. This offering has been around for a while; there is a recipe for the Bobby Burns in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930). The Savoy is always a good source of cocktail inspiration when you’re looking for a classic cocktail to experiment with. That’s what the Utah Mixologist was doing when he stumbled across the Bobby Burns one cold November night, and it’s been on his short list of cocktails ever since.
This delicious concoction contains Scotch and Vermouth with a little Benedictine thrown in as a nod to Bobby Burns’ poetic nature. The Bobby Burns sounds a bit like the Rob Roy, another classic Scotch Whisky cocktail, but where warlike Rob Roy has a dash of bitters, the more poetic Bobby Burns takes three dashes of Benedictine. Connoisseurs of good Scotch will want to save their single malt for sipping, so any decent blended Scotch (e.g. Johnnie Walker) is recommended for this cocktail. You should enjoy the interesting blend of herbals in the Vermouth and Benedictine combined with the peaty taste of the Scotch. As it says in the Savoy, “One of the very best Whisky Cocktails.”
- 1 ½ oz Sweet Vermouth
- 1 ½ oz Scotch Whisky (use blended, like Johnnie Walker)
- 3 dashes (1/3 teaspoon) Benedictine
Pour ingredients into a mixing glass ¾ full of cracked ice. Stir briskly until well chilled, and strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Twist a piece of lemon peel over the glass, rub it lightly around the rim, and drop it in. Enjoy while it’s icy cold.