The Rusty Nail Cocktail Recipe

Posted in Scotch on March 6, 2014

rusty nail

The Rusty Nail cocktail is something you should definitely try if you like blended scotch. It is basically a simple combination between scotch and Drambuie. As always, the simplest combinations are also the best ones. There seems to be a perfect balance between the warm and daring aroma of the scotch and the herbal and sweet flavor of the Drambuie.

The Rusty Nail needed a lot of time in order to become an established cocktail. The first attempts of mixing scotch and Drambuie occurred in the 30s, but the mixed drink was known under another name and it wasn’t very popular. More years were needed in order for the Rusty Nail to make its way and to win the hearts of scotch enthusiasts. The drink was known under various names and only got its current name in the 60s when it was endorsed by a Drambuie representative. This is when the Rusty Nail truly became popular.

As you already know, cocktails with only two ingredients are very versatile. You can adjust them to your personal taste by modifying the scotch Drambuie ratio. While most bartenders recommend a 2:1 scotch to Drambuie ration, some people like this cocktail sweeter and even go for equal parts. This is not recommended unless you have a serious sweet tooth. In fact, you should start with the original recipe and see if it needs further adjusting. If so, add more Drambuie or more scotch depending on what you want to obtain.

How to Prepare the Rusty Nail

You need the following ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. of scotch.
  • ¾ oz. of Drambuie.
  • A lemon twist for garnish.

Take an old-fashioned glass and put some ice cubes into it. Pour both the ingredients over the ice and stir. Garnish with the lemon twist. Even though the Rusty Nail can also be served without the ice, it is more popular on the rocks.

Rusty Nail Variations

There are several variations of this cocktail which you can try:

  • The Rusty Ale – this is not scotch based. In fact, it is just regular beer with a dash of Drambuie. It is served without ice.
  • The Smoky Nail – it replaces the blended scotch with Islay whiskey.
  • The Donald Sutherland – it calls for Canadian rye whiskey instead of scotch whiskey.
  • The Clavo Ahumado – it replaces the scotch whiskey with mezcal which is a distilled alcoholic drink made of agave.

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