If you’re looking for a drink with a rich, smoky taste that’ll warm up your belly, it’s hard to beat scotch.
But depending on your mood, scotch cocktails might be even better.
Scotch Cocktails & Drink Recipes
Too often, when people hear the word “cocktail,” their minds go straight to pink, fruity drinks with plenty of sugar & pizzazz.
However, those aren’t the only cocktails you can enjoy, even if that’s how every girl’s night out movie makes it seem.
If you’re looking for a more sophisticated spirit, scotch won’t disappoint.
So if you’re looking for more distinguished recipes perfect for practically any occasion, check out this list of 20 scotch cocktails.
1. Scotch Old-Fashioned
Of all the scotch cocktails from which you can choose, the old-fashioned is probably the most famous.
(Yes, rye whiskey drinkers. You can make it with scotch!)
If you’re making it using this recipe, mix blended scotch, simple syrup, aromatic bitters, and orange bitters, and garnish with orange zest.
This version has a rich, smooth taste that’ll go down easily and put a little red on your cheeks.
Ingredients: blended scotch whisky or bourbon, simple syrup, aromatic bitters, orange bitters, orange zest
2. Penicillin Cocktail
The penicillin cocktail is ideal for the cooler months of the year.
It tastes great, but more than that, the honey, ginger, and lemon juice will help keep you “as fit as a fiddle,” as my grandpa used to say.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but the penicillin cocktail is no slouch either.
Ingredients: blended scotch whisky, lemon juice, honey ginger syrup, Islay Scotch, ice, candied lemon peel for garnish
3. Scotch and Coke
If you enjoy the strong taste of scotch whiskey but need a little something to smooth the edges of its bite, scotch & coke is a good choice for you.
You’ll get the full scotch flavor experience, but the Coca-Cola adds sweetness and makes it easier on your stomach.
Plus, it adds caffeine and bubbles and takes only a few minutes to make.
Ingredients: Scotch whisky, Coke, lemon twist for garnish
4. Scotch Sour
Scotch sour has a potent, unusual taste that’s hard to describe. Its unusual, nuanced taste makes it hugely popular, though!
And like most scotch cocktails, it’s easy to make, taking only 5 minutes.
All you’ll need is to mix the spirit with lemon juice, simple syrup, an egg white, and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters.
Ingredients: Scotch whisky, lemon juice, simple syrup, grapefruit bitters, lemon twist for garnish
5. Rusty Nail
Although not as famous as it once was, the two-ingredient rusty nail still has its fans.
I’ve tried it many ways, but the two-to-one ratio of scotch to Drambuie is the one I like best.
It’s a potent drink that hits hard and fast, but its taste is shockingly mild.
It tastes a bit like honeyed whiskey, and it goes down more smoothly than you’d imagine.
Ingredients: Scotch whisky or bourbon, Drambuie
6. Rob Roy
The Rob Roy is a classic cocktail often considered the Scotch whisky version of the Manhattan.
It’s a mix of Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, and bitters with ice. It’s then strained into a chilled cocktail glass and garnished with a cherry or lemon twist.
The Rob Roy is a rich and flavorful cocktail that highlights the smoky, complex notes of Scotch whisky.
Ingredients: blended scotch whisky, sweet red vermouth, Angostura or orange bitters, cocktail cherry for garnish
7. Blood and Sand
This tart and smoky cocktail got its name from a 1922 movie about a bullfighter. That should tell you a little something about how well it’s weathered the test of time.
It takes practically no time to whip up, and the recipe is short and simple. Just mix scotch, vermouth, cherry liqueur, and orange juice, and garnish with an orange twist.
The thing about these simple recipes, though, is that they all have robust, bold notes that come through loudly, making this one seriously flavorful drink.
Ingredients: scotch or bourbon, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, orange juice, orange twist for garnish
If your movie preferences are more Godfather, and less bullfighter, then you may prefer this two-ingredient cocktail.
With only scotch and amaretto in it, it’s sweet, smooth, and stronger than it looks.
Mix it up in 2 minutes, strain it into a glass, stick a lemon peel down on the side, and sit back and look serious while drinking it.
(This cocktail is a whole vibe!)
Ingredients: blended scotch, amaretto, lemon peel for garnish
9. Mamie Taylor
Named for a famous opera singer from the late-1800s, the Mamie Taylor is a mix of scotch, lime juice, & ginger ale for a sweet, citrusy, & slightly spiced drink.
If you’re a fan of the Moscow mule, you’ll love this drink as well.
And now, a serious question: Why does it seem like all the best scotch cocktails are from the 1930s or earlier?
Do we just not know how to combine the right flavors anymore?
Ingredients: blended scotch whisky, lime juice, ginger ale, lime wedge for garnish
10. The Presbyterian
The Presbyterian is a simple, light, slightly fizzy scotch cocktail that mixes scotch, ginger ale, and club soda.
Some people insist that it’s just a sweetened, watered-down scotch.
The phrase “watered-down” makes it sound like there’s not as much flavor in it. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
This gorgeous translucent drink has plenty of flavor.
The club soda only helps lessen the burn you get from really good scotch. It doesn’t affect the taste much at all.
Ingredients: scotch, bourbon, or rye; ginger ale; club soda
11. Scotch Collins
The Scotch Collins is the ideal summer drink because it’s cool, refreshing, bubbly, and bold.
Together, the lemon juice and simple syrup make up just as much of the drink as the scotch.
With its sweetness & tartness, it tastes like a strongly spiked lemonade.
The club soda gives the spirit a bit of bubble and fizz. The fruit garnishes add that little extra something to make it look as good as it tastes.
Ingredients: whiskey or bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, club soda, Maraschino cherry & orange slice for garnish
12. Scotch Toddy
The hot toddy is the drink everyone reaches for when they want to feel good in every way possible.
With over an ounce of scotch whiskey, it’ll give you a lovely alcohol buzz.
But the sweetness & warmth from the honey, lemon, and cinnamon will also make you feel better if you’re under the weather.
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s just what the doctor ordered.
Ingredients: whiskey or bourbon, honey, water, lemon juice, lemon twist
13. Affinity Cocktail
It’s hard to find a drink more perfectly balanced than the affinity cocktail, especially if you use blended scotch for the spirit.
With equal parts dry and sweet vermouth and a couple of dashes of orange bitters, this glass is the one you’ll want when you need a strong drink with a wine-like taste.
Ingredients: Scotch whisky, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, orange bitters
14. Drunk Uncle
If you like your drinks a little on the bitter side, you’ll go nuts for the Drunk Uncle.
The scotch and vermouth give it rich, oaky notes, but the Cynar adds a biting bitterness that’ll make you say WOW!
The grapefruit twist is the perfect addition, especially for people who’ve never had this cocktail before.
It lets them know right away that this one has some kick to it.
Ingredients: Islay scotch, Cynar amaro, vermouth, grapefruit twist
15. Bobby Burns
The Bobby Burns is another rich, smoky cocktail that dates back to the early 1900s. It proves once more that good scotch cocktails are hard to find after that 1930 mark.
To make it, you’ll mix scotch whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Benedictine. Strain it into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.
It shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes to make, and it tastes best over ice.
Ingredients: blended scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, lemon twist
16. Smoked Rose
This smoky, amber-colored cocktail is one of the few Scottish cocktails on the list that smells every bit as good as it tastes. It’s all thanks to the rosemary simple syrup.
The cocktail itself takes only 3 minutes to prepare, but you’ll need at least an hour to make the rosemary syrup.
The good news, though, is that your whole house will smell fantastic while you’re making it, so it’s an hour that you’ll undoubtedly enjoy.
Ingredients: Scotch whisky, dried rosemary, Green Chartreuse liqueur, rosemary syrup
17. Strawberry Scotch Cocktail
This drink is so light, fruity, and fizzy that it’s hard for most people to believe it’s a scotch cocktail. Instead, they think it’s a rye, gin, or vodka drink.
It isn’t; it’s good, old-fashioned scotch whiskey.
Of course, you’ll hardly taste it underneath the lemon thyme, lemon juice, vanilla simple syrup, strawberries, and sparkling water.
It may not be the most “manly” scotch cocktail on the list, but it is one of the most delicious.
Ingredients: Scotch or bourbon, strawberries, lemon thyme, lemon juice, vanilla simple syrup, soda water
18. Caledonian Spritzer
Speaking of drink recipes people can’t believe are made with scotch… The Caledonian spritzer is just as light and fruity.
Plus, it has a wonderful sweetness and tropical flavor because of the pineapple juice and Riesling.
You’ll also add thyme syrup and some thyme and pineapple slices as garnishes.
The result is a super sweet, somewhat strong cocktail that’ll have you dreaming of your favorite beach vacation.
Ingredients: Scotch or bourbon, Riesling, pineapple juice, thyme syrup, pineapple wedge & thyme sprig for garnish
19. Smoky Martini
If you like martinis but want something stronger and smokier, this smoky martini recipe is the one for you.
It’s quick and straightforward to make, requiring only gin and scotch whiskey.
You’ll mix them both over ice, stirring until the drink is as cold as you can get it.
Then pour it, sans ice, into a lovely martini glass (for the aesthetic, of course) and add a lemon twist garnish.
Its transparent color and smoky notes will make it the talk of the table.
Ingredients: blended scotch whisky, London dry gin, lemon twist for garnish
20. Paris Between the Wars
And last but not least, here’s one of the most delectable fall drink recipes you’ll ever try – Paris Between the Wars.
It’s an odd name, but it tastes exquisite, especially if fall flavors are your jam.
It’s a gorgeous golden-orange color; and it tastes like honeyed, spiked apple cider with just a dash of lemon for contrast.
It takes no more than 5 minutes to make and is as pretty as it is tasty. Plus, it smells great, too.
Ingredients: Scotch, Campari, honey, lemon juice, apple cider, grapefruit twist
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