Bobby Burns Cocktail

Jun 4, 2017

It’s 9:30 PM and I’m just getting around to tonight’s Mr. Boston post – YIKES! Where did the day go?!

The Bobby Burns Cocktail is as memorable as the work of the poet who inspired it. I vote that in addition to singing Robert Burn’s Auld Lang Syne as we ring in 2018, champagne toasts should be replaced with this tasty Scotch based drink.

For those who have not been introduced to the Bobby Burns, Mr. Boston’s 1935 and Hugo Ensslin’s 1917 recipes agree that this cocktail should consist of 3/4 oz Scotch, Italian Vermouth (sweet) and Benedictine. While we’ve had the pleasure of imbibing many drinks throughout Mr. Boston’s that call for Scotch and Italian Vermouth, this is the first time the last ingredient has turned up.

Oh what a fantastic ingredient it is!

Herbs and Rye introduced us to the Vieux Carre about a year ago, and we’ve been in love with Benedictine ever since.

Like Chartreuse, the recipe for this French liqueur is a closely guarded secret involving a wide variety of botanicals. I’ve been trying to decipher the special sauce for a while now. So far have I’ve come up with Hyssop, Mint, and Melissa. Honey also plays a substantial role in the flavor of Benedictine.

Bernardo Vincelli, Benedictine Monk

Both Chartreuse and Benedictine were developed in French monasteries.

If you enjoy Drambuie, you’ll likely really Benedictine.

For the purposes of our Bobby Burn’s experiment, I decided to mix up the drink using two different Glenlivet Scotches. One is the cask strength Nàdurra Oloroso we purchased for the Blue Blazer and the other is the Founders Reserve. Ryan noticed that neither of the two new bottles we brought home note the age of the Scotch which is usually a standard in gauging quality. However, both versions are very, very nice. The price point for the Nàdurra Oloroso was greater than a 16 year old which points to a higher grade spirit though that is not always the case.

To taste, I preferred the lower proofed Founders Reserve while Ryan thought that the Nàdurra was the way to go. Two happy campers from one drink adventure 🙂

While I hadn’t noticed it before, I noticed the dark chocolate notes mentioned in the description of the cask strength Glen. It wasn’t confined to the 120 ABV cocktail. I have never tasted chocolate in Scotch and for whatever reason the Benediction brought it to life.

The oldest Bobby Burns recipe I was able to uncover was from Jacque Straub’s 1914 ‘Drinks.’ Being totally different from Ensslin’s and Mr. Boston’s I’d hoped to give it ago but alas time slipped away. Plus when I went to the store to grab the needed Orange, the fruit was horribly withered. I’ll have to revisit the older version sometime when I have more minutes to spare.

With that, I bid you sweet dreams. Until tomorrow.