Bobby Burns Cocktail

Fans of the Manhattan will no doubt enjoy the Bobby Burns Cocktail. Named after the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, it will certainly give you poetic inspiration. Grab your kilt and pipes or at least a pen and paper, mix up a Bobby Burns and get writing!


1 oz Glenfiddich 12 Year Scotch Whisky

1 oz Sweet Vermouth

1/6 oz Benedictine


Stir all ingredients with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with a lemon twist.


blair frodelius 25 Jan 2011
10:03 am

Advice: Unless you’ve got a steady hand like Robert in this video, it’s best to pour small amounts of ingredients (1/8oz, 1/6oz, 1/4oz) away from the mixing glass as to not accidentally put too much in the drink.


Blair Frodelius

Robert Hess 25 Jan 2011
11:23 am

Good point Blair. Measurements less than 1/4 ounce always seem pretty difficult to get just right, in many cases you could consider them as “to taste”, but I still like to try to provide a clear reference as to what the intended measurement is.

Laurence Kedzie 26 Jan 2011
6:19 am

hey Robert great cocktail. Can I ask where you got you mixing glass?

Robert Hess 26 Jan 2011
6:40 am

Larry, this is a mixing glass that I am using in a lot of my episodes, and it seems like it regularly is getting quite a bit of interest from folks. I got it from, which carries a nice collection of very fine barware. This specific mixing glass can be found here:

Laurence Kedzie 26 Jan 2011
7:11 am

thanks much

xcorvis 26 Jan 2011
8:43 am

The RSS/iTunes feed for this post is not working.

Ian 7 Feb 2011
5:58 pm

Ooh! New episodes!

I’m curious about your use of Glenfiddich here. Glenfiddich is one of the lighter and milder tasting Scotch whiskies, whereas a Manhattan often calls for rye, which typically has a very bold and spicy flavour. I wonder about using a Scotch with a more pronounced flavour—have you compared different varieties?

(Also, given that this is a mixed drink, is it extravagant to use a single malt in this?)

Robert Hess 8 Feb 2011
6:38 am

Scotch is one of those difficult spirits to use in cocktails. If you use one with too heavy of a flavor it can overpower things rather quickly, and some find this off-putting. So I think using a lighter style single malt, or a blended scotch, can be a good way to start off.

In any drink, the choice of spirit can make a difference, in some cases it is just some nuance added to the overall structure, while in others it might make the difference between a great drink, and a terrible one. I rarely try to dictate that a particular brand of spirit is the best/only one to use, and instead try to leave it up to the audience to either use what they might have handy, or to experiment on their own with different brands.


Suzanna Crage 25 Feb 2012
4:59 pm

Just a note—1/6 oz Benedictine actually does make sense. This is 1 tsp, so a pretty easy amount to measure. Unlike the Tip Top with it’s 1/8 oz. Who has a 3/4 tsp measure?

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