Rob Roy (cocktail)

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Rob Roy
Base spirit
ServedChoice of "straight up" or " On the rocks"
Standard garnish2 Maraschino cherries on a skewer or lemon twist
Standard drinkware
Cocktail glass
Commonly used ingredients
PreparationStirred over ice, strained into a chilled glass, garnished, and served straight up, or mixed in rocks glass, filled with ice.

The Rob Roy is a cocktail consisting primarily of whisky and vermouth, created in 1894 by a bartender at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan, New York City. The drink was named in honor of the premiere of Rob Roy, an operetta by composer Reginald De Koven and lyricist Harry B. Smith loosely based upon Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor.[1][2]

A Rob Roy is similar to a Manhattan, but is made exclusively with Scotch whisky; the Manhattan is traditionally made with rye, and today also commonly made with bourbon or Canadian whisky.[3][4][5] While this version of a Manhattan may have been first dubbed a Rob Roy in 1894, the Manhattan made with Scotch whisky first appears in print ten years earlier in a London bar guide by Charlie Paul, [6] perhaps the earliest published recipe for a Manhattan.

Like the Manhattan, the Rob Roy can be made "sweet", "dry", or "perfect". The standard Rob Roy is the sweet version, made with sweet vermouth, so there is no need to specify a "sweet" Rob Roy when ordering. A "dry" Rob Roy is made by replacing the sweet vermouth with dry vermouth. A "perfect" Rob Roy is made with equal parts sweet and dry vermouth.[4][5][7]

The Rob Roy includes a dash of Angostura bitters (mostly for color),[8] and is usually served in a cocktail glass garnished with two maraschino cherries on a skewer (for the standard version), or a lemon twist (for the perfect and dry versions).[4][5][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Andrews, Sudhir (2008). Textbook of Food & Beverage Management. Tata McGraw-Hill. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-07-065573-7.
  2. ^ "'Rob Roy' a Good Operetta" The New York Times (October 30, 1894)
  3. ^ "Rob Roy Recipe" on the Real Restaurant Recipes website (2006). Accessed: May 19, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Graham, Colleen. "Rob Roy" Archived 2009-02-18 at the Wayback Machine on Accessed: May 19, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Wondrich, David. "Rob Roy" Esquire (November 5, 2007). Accessed: May 19, 2011.
  6. ^ Paul, Charlie (1884). American and other Drinks. T. F. Shaw and Company. p. 32.
  7. ^ a b Jacobo. "How To Prepare a Rob Roy Cocktail" Videojug Accessed: May 19, 2011.
  8. ^ Andrews, Sudhir (2008). Textbook of Food & Beverage Management. Tata McGraw-Hill. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-07-065573-7.