January 27, 2023 by Karl Tessendorf
Gather round wee lassies and laddies, because we’re off to the land that invented the nectar of the gods! That’s right, it’s time for a Scotch cocktail adventure, so throw on your best tartan, grab a walking stick and let’s hit the road.
1. Scotch Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is not only a delicious classic cocktail, but it’s also extremely versatile. A simple change of the whiskey type, and you’ve got a whole new flavor profile. Where bourbon is sweet and rye is spicy, Scotch brings a peaty smokiness to the party. Add to that rich vanilla and fruity flavors, and you’ve got one of the most complex Scotch cocktails around. The simple syrup and aromatic bitters provide balance, while the oils from the orange peel brighten up the whole affair. It’s a classic for a reason, and it’s the perfect drink to kick off our epic Scottish cocktails list.
More whiskey cocktails: 15 Whiskey Cocktails to Drink All Winter
2. Penicillin Cocktail
If Scotch cocktails are your thing, then the Penicillin was made just for you. It features not one but two Scotch whiskies, and both add something unique to the cocktail. Invented by bartender Sam Ross, the Penicillin is a saucy mix of blended Scotch whisky, lemon juice, honey, and candied ginger. And if that doesn’t sound tasty enough, it’s finished with a float of peaty Islay Scotch whisky. The Penicillin is a gorgeously layered drinking experience that’s smoky, sweet, and sour. It’s a proper Scotch cocktail treat that’s somehow heady and soothing at the same time.
3. Scotch Sour
No Scottish cocktail list would be complete without a classic Whiskey Sour. It’s a cocktail that was big in the 1800s, and it’s still just as popular today. The simple blend of Scotch, lemon juice, and simple syrup is timeless, but the kicker here is the egg white. It sounds strange at first but when you take a sip, it all makes sense. When shaken, the proteins in the egg white meld into the cocktail to create a luxurious drinking experience. The Scotch Sour is well-balanced and velvety with a signature frothy top. Shake one up today, you won’t be disappointed.
You might also like: 18 Sour Cocktails for Newbies to Master.
4. Blood and Sand Cocktail
Named after a 1922 silent film about bullfighting, the Blood and Sand is a fruit-layered Scotch cocktail that’s deeply satisfying. It first appeared in Harry Cradock’s Savoy Cocktail Book and was a popular drink in the 1930s. With equal parts Scotch, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, and blood orange juice, it’s sweet, savory, and complex. Unfortunately, it was never as successful as the movie, but if you’re a Scotch fan, you should definitely try it for historic and scientific purposes.
5. Scotch Collins
Just like his brothers, Tom and John, the Scotch Collins cocktail follows the formula of spirit, lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda. It’s a tried and tested recipe that was great in the 1800s and always will be. While today’s cocktails often feature a lengthy list of specialty ingredients, the Scotch Collins reminds us that sometimes, less is more. With just a handful of ingredients, it’s sweet, sour, and savory, with an effervescent delivery system that hits the mark every time. Here’s to you, Collins family! Don’t ever change.
6. Rob Roy Cocktail
One of the coolest things about classic cocktails is their versatility. Take our guy Rob Roy for example. He’s basically a Manhattan cocktail, but instead of rye whiskey, he features Scotch. It seems like a small change, but the two drinks couldn’t be more different. The Manhattan has a peppery and spicy edge, while Rob Roy features vanilla, fruit, and a lingering peaty finish. It’s a delicious Scottish nod to a classic, and if you don’t like it, you can report your complaint to Liam Neeson.
7. Scotch Toddy
If you’re looking for the original winter-busting cocktail with Scotch, then look no further than the mighty Scotch Toddy. Closely related to the iconic Bourbon Toddy, it’s comfort in a glass with a whisky kick that’ll drive heat into the coldest of bones. The trick to a great Toddy is mixing it with boiling water and then drinking it as hot as you can handle. It’s traditionally spiced with pungent cloves but think of it as a blank spice canvas. Add whole cinnamon for extra warmth, or star anise for a fragrant licorice note. The Hot Toddy is your gateway to winter warmth.