Cocktail Recipes: The Rusty Nail and other Drambuie serves

Scotch Whisky Liqueur Drambuie has staged a little relaunch in Australia, particularly benefiting those around Sydney as they are in the middle of a slick three-month partnership with New Orleans homage bar The Swinging Cat. The partnership mirrors what the relaunch is all about, reviving interest in Drambuie’s storied history, focusing especially on the spirit’s most famous serve, The Rusty Nail.

The simple whisky cocktail was a mainstary in the nightclubs that dotted New York in the early 60’s, specifically the iconic 21 Club which was frequented by the likes of Hemmingway and Sinatra. The Rusty Nail quickly became a go-to during the rise of the Rat Pack, earning its place in pop culture history. More recently, the drink became the serve-of-choice for slippery lawyer Saul Goodman in TV series Better Call Saul, resparking an interest in the cocktail, which is why we’ve sourced a the simple recipe from Drambuie, along with another two of their classic cocktails.

Grab a bottle and start mixing these ones up.

Rusty Nail


Notes: “Simple yet complex and rewarding, the Rusty Nail sits alongside the Martini and the Old Fashioned as one of the classics of the cocktail world, but has a sweetness that makes it surprisingly accessible.”


1 part Drambuie
2 parts Scotch Whisky


1. Build over ice in a rocks glass and stir.
2. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Drambuie Collins


Notes: “A light, refreshing and tasty serve with simple ingredients, it’s quick and easy to build into a highball glass.”


1 Part Drambuie
1/2 a lemon
8 Mint Leaves
2 parts Soda


1. Cut a lemon into wedges, then squeeze and drop half the lemon into a highball glass.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.
3. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Drambuie Fresco


Notes: “A stunningly simple built drink with a deliciously complex flavour, this is a refreshing spritz-like cocktail that’s perfect for outdoors and brunches.”


1 part Drambuie
1 Part Pink Grapefruit Juice
Top Soda


1. Add Drambuie and grapefruit juice to an ice-filled glass and stir.
2. Top with soda and garnish with a slice of grapefruit

For those in Sydney, head down to The Swinging Cat (44 King St) each Thursday until November for “Night with the Nail”, a prohibition-styled event where you can be sure to down more than a few of these Rusty Nails. For more on Drambuie click HERE.

Images and recipes supplied.


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.