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Drambuie Liqueur


Rusty Nail Whiskey Cocktail

Rusty Nail Whiskey Cocktail

Brian Macdonald/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Drambuie Liqueur

Drambuie Liqueur

Photo Courtesy: © Drambuie

What is Drambuie?:

Drambuie is a sweet, gold colored liqueur with a Scotch whisky base that is accented with the flavors of Scottish heather honey, herbs, and spices. The whisky is a blend of malts from the Speyside and Highland regions of Scotland. It has a superbly smooth taste, notably marked with spiced honey.

This liqueur should be considered essential to a bar stock, especially if one enjoys whiskey cocktails. It is stocked in liquor stores and bars worldwide, making it readily available. The most popular Drambuie drink is by far the Rusty Nail in which it is paired with Scotch whisky. There are also no true substitutes for Drambuie's signature taste, though the closest option is Glayva. Drambuie can also be served on the rocks or with either ginger ale or ginger beer and makes a wonderful dessert drink.

The story of Drambuie dates back to around 1745 when Prince Charles Edward Stewart reportedly passed on the 'secret' formula for his personal elixir when fleeing Scotland after the Battle of Culloden. The legend says that the recipient of the recipe was Stewart's trusted Captain John MacKinnon and that it remained on the Isle of Skye. In the late 19th century, Clan MacKinnon passed the recipe on to James Ross who improved it and sold the revised liqueur at the Broadford Hotel on Skye. Upon Ross' death his widow sold the recipe to another MacKinnon family and the first commercial production of Drambuie began in Edinburgh in 1910.

The name 'Drambuie' derives (most likely) from the Scottish Gaelic an dram buidheach, which means "the drink that satisfies."


About Drambuie:

  • Produced in Broxburn, West Lothian, Scotland
  • 40% alc/volume (80 proof)
  • Retails for around $26/ 750ml bottle
  • Visit their website: Drambuie.com


Drambuie Cocktails:


Cooking with Drambuie:


More Drambuie Bottlings:

Beyond the 'original' bottling of Drambuie, two other expressions are now available. Both are preferred to be served neat or over ice.

  • Drambuie 15 - This expression uses a selection of 15 year old Speyside malts. This is a drier liqueur with a velvet mouthfeel and warming, soft malt notes. This one sells for around $55 for a 750ml bottle.
  • Drambuie Royal Legacy 1745 - This bottling was produced to celebrate the 1910 official launch of Drambuie and only 2,500 bottles were produced (as of March 2012, they are still available). It brings together all of the best ingredients and techniques learned throughout the years and is considered the top of the line of Drambuie. It also has a price to reflect this pedigree of around $200 for a signed bottle.


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