How to Mix Scotch in Cocktails - Rob Roy and Balvenie Smash

Scotch can be a tough cookie when it comes to incorporating it into cocktails. More and more though, bartenders and mixologists are creating cocktails that go way beyond classics like the Rob Roy. In this episode of The Proper Pour, Charlotte Voisey shows you how to make the aforementioned classic as well as a modern Scotch cocktail, the Balvenie Smash.

Rob Roy

2 oz Scotch Whisky

1 oz sweet vermouth

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Balvenie Smash

2 oz Scotch Whisky

3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

3/4 oz simple syrup

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

6 leaves of mint


Rob Roy

stir with ice

strain into a cocktail glass

garnish with a fresh cherry

Balvenie Smash

shake ingredients with ice

strain into a cocktail glass

garnish with a mint leave


LeoL 7 Oct 2011
4:35 am

Isn’t the Smash more of a Whiskey Sour with the addition of mint? I’ve never before heard of a Smash that contains both lemon juice and sugar. Seems to be a nice enough cocktail though, might give it a try at work tonight.

Lazlo Hollyfeld 11 Oct 2011
10:34 am

Speaking of Scotch Whisky and citrus, I was at a Johnnie Walker tasting event and they had everyone mix a bit of Orangina with their Red Label and, low and behold, it was surprisingly good ... I believe they called it the “Scottish Mimosa”.  Anyhow, its a bit more proof that Scotch can be mixed and matched.

domnicvaz 5 Nov 2011
4:07 pm

thanks so much for thise site becose thise site gave me so much nolage then aneay other site

charlie 24 Jan 2012
2:49 pm

Hi Charlotte - You mention that you’re making a “perfect” Rob Roy. When I was trained along time ago, I was taught that a perfect Rob Roy or Manhattan split the usual amount of sweet vermouth evenly with dry vermouth and was garnished with a twist of lemon.  In other words, instead of, say, 2 : 1 spirit to sweet vermouth, it would be 2 : .5 : .5 spirit to sweet vermouth to dry vermouth.

Have I been making this incorrectly all these years? (it wouldn’t be much of a surprise: This was 1988. Everybody still put club soda in their Old Fashioneds, and woo-woos,  Alabama Slammers, and Whitesnake were all the rage. Ugh).

Thanks for your help.

Adam26 28 Feb 2012
7:28 pm

Love the Balvenie Smash, a great recipe, I couldn’t wait to pull the Balvenie off the shelf and give it a try. I actually preferred it with slightly less simple syrup, maybe only 1/2 oz. Thanks for the great combination!

steve7500 5 Apr 2012
1:28 pm

I would never have believed that I would make and drink a Balvenie smash - I love it ! I will tell you that I have used premium blended scotch in lieu of single malt and it has a taste of it’s own and is very good also.

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