The Rob Roy: A Wee Dram, Hold the Cherry

dseang via Flickr
Barrel-aged Balvenie: Steel yourself to do the unspeakable
The Broken Record saloon (1166 Geneva at Edinburgh) not only serves exceptional pub grub, their whisky selection is breathtaking: well over a hundred different ryes, bourbons, and scotches, most of it from the top of the shelf and served by a squad of barkeeps who know their stuff (read our review here). Following the local trend, the majority are single malt scotches, and while we admire and respect the smoky intensity of all that carefully crafted peat juice, bourbon's our choice when it comes to a tumbler of unadulterated hooch. And when we run out of Booker's and the only thing left in the larder is a bottle of barrel-aged Balvenie, we prefer to do the unspeakable and doctor it up into a Rob Roy.

Shake up one part sweet vermouth (preferably Carpano) to three parts scotch with a dash of Angostura bitters and plenty of ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and imbibe. The vermouth tempers the smokiness of the scotch without submerging it altogether, and the bitters add a pleasant hint of invigorating snark. Despite the gentling sweetness of the Carpano, the Rob Roy is a strong, robust cocktail worthy of its swashbuckling namesake, so don't screw it up with a maraschino cherry.

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