To start the New Year off right I’m featuring the Rusty Nail as my classic cocktail. According to cocktail historian David Wondrich, this concoction dates back to 1937 and is credited to one F. Benniman. Wondrich also states that it’s supposedly named after the British Industries Fair. Nonetheless, the Rusty Nail didn’t really gain traction until the early 1960s when Gina Mackinnon, the chairwoman of the Drambuie Company, endorsed the drink with an ad in The New York Times. Also, during the 60’s, bartenders at 21 Club in Manhattan helped popularize this classic.
The Rusty Nail consists of Scotch Whisky, Drambuie and a Lemon Peel. Despite this cocktails simplicity, it yields a fantastically complex flavor profile. The recipe often varies. It’s quite common to see bartenders use equal parts Scotch to Drambuie. However, I prefer using a high quality Scotch with a small portion of Drambuie. This way the Scotch can shine and the Drambuie notes are subtle and add to the complexity. The lemon peel ties it all together with its bright citrus aroma.
2 oz. Dewar’s 15 year
¾ oz. Drambuie
Pour the Dewar’s over ice and top with Drambuie. Finish with a lemon peel making sure the lemon oil is release over the cocktail.