Rusty Nail is an old-school cocktail that dominated the bars for decades. The simple but satisfying concoction comprises good scotch whiskey and Drambuie, which is a whiskey-based liqueur. Unfortunately, most bars today don’t even have Drambuie, and so the Rusty Nail is no longer as popular as once was.

It’s believed that the drink was invented in 1937 and named after the British Industries Fair. The cocktail also appears in the 1967 edition of “Old Mister Boston Official Bartender’s Guide” which is a 20th-century cocktail book, where the classic drink calls for equal parts scotch whiskey and Drambuie. In another cocktail book called Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails” by Ted Haigh, the ratio is 2 parts scotch to 1 part Drambuie. Both equally good. Quality scotch is important since it’s a simple 2 ingredient whiskey-based cocktail. Rusty Nail is a perfect after-dinner drink, served on the rocks and garnished with a lemon or an orange twist. If served without ice, it’s often called a Straight Up Nail. Make one for yourself and tell us what you think. 😉

On the list of IBA Official Cocktails.


  1. 2 Ounces (60 ml) of Scotch Whiskey.
  2. 1 Ounce (30 ml) of Drambuie.
  3. Lemon or an orange twist for garnish.


  1. Add ingredients into a mixing glass, fill with ice and stir until well chilled.
  2. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over ice. (1 large ice cube would be ideal)
  3. Garnish and enjoy.

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