Rusty Nail
Saved by 59 People
About this Cocktail

New York or Los Angeles (1950ish)

Really just a Scotch on the rocks with a bit of Drambuie, the Rusty Nail is an Atomic Age classic I’ve found even more satisfying when made along the lines of an Old Fashioned.

The natural combination of Scotch and Drambuie had been around since Prohibition, operating under a couple different names (some stupid names, too: D & S, Knucklehead, MIG-21, Little Club #1, B.I.F), until it received official christening as a “Rusty Nail” at some point in the ’50s.

I’ve seen ratios as high as half-Scotch and half-Drambuie – way too sweet. Dry it out some and round it up with lemon oil and orange bitters; you’ll want to take your time sipping it that way. The recipe below is not an “according to Hoyle” 2:1 Rusty Nail – it’s my minor spin on the drink that suits my palate.

  • 1 lemon twist
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1/2 oz Drambuie
  • 2 oz Scotch whiskey

Using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, cut a strip of lemon peel to make:

1 lemon twist

Don’t include too much of the bitter white pith, if any. Holding the twist with the outside facing down over an Old Fashioned glass, pinch to express lemon oil into the glass. Reserve the twist for a garnish. Into the glass, add:

1 dash orange bitters
1/2 oz Drambuie

Add an ice rock or two to three ice cubes then add:

2 oz Scotch whiskey

Stir briskly to blend and chill. Insert the lemon twist as a garnish.

  • Mike Yorke
    Nice. Reminds me a 'nail my Dad and I drank together back in the day !
  • Dave Stolte
    @Mike Yorke Thanks! An unfairly-neglected classic, I think.
  • Chad Pozmantir
    Ouch ooey..... Scotch and Drambuie

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