For part two of our Scotchtails series, we explore the Rusty Nail, a combination of Scotch and Drambuie.
Drambuie is a liqueur made from Scotch, flavored with something called heather honey and eleven herbs and spices, or something like that. There's a whole, dramatic story with Bonnie Prince this or that passing on the secret recipe, but I've never been much for whisky origin myths, preferring to just drink the stuff.
Drambuie has a pleasant anise scent. It has a very sweet, anise-flavor on the palate, almost like black licorice candy. The texture is thick and syrupy, and it has an objectionable, somewhat bitter finish. It isn't something you would want to drink neat. Drambuie's alcohol content is 40%, which is high for a liqueur though on the lowest end for a Scotch.
The rusty nail recipe is simple: two ounces of Scotch, one-half ounce of Drambuie, garnished with a lemon twist. As with our Rob Roys, I tried a variety of Scotches for the drink.
This thing just isn't my cup of tea. I find Drambuie to be far too sweet, and it dominates the Scotch. If I want an anise-scented whiskey drink, I'd rather have a Sazerac. The best thing about a rusty nail is the name.
I have to say, I was much less enthused by our Scotchtails than I was by our classic Bourbon and rye cocktails. If anyone has any great Scotch cocktails, let me know, but for now, when I'm feeling cocktailish, I'll definitely reach for the American whiskey...and we will have more American whiskey cocktails coming soon.