Drambuie: The Scottish Whisky You Need To Know About

Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors

Introduction

Drambuie is a Scottish whisky liqueur that has been around since 1745. It was originally created for the medicinal purposes of Lord Drambuie as a personal elixir to help cure his stomach issues. Now it's a scotch whiskey favorite in the United States and internationally, and you should know about it too! This article will tell you all about this delicious drink and why everyone loves it so much.

Watch this video on Drambuie

What is Drambuie?

Drambuie is a Scotch whisky liqueur made by the Scottish company The Drambuie Liqueur Company. It's often referred to as "the most famous of all Scotsmen" and is typically served with ice, water, or ginger ale on the side.

The recipe for drambuie includes an idea from 16th century France: Âge d'or (literally “golden age”). This was developed in Paris during the reign of Henry III. In English it became known as preserved quinces – compote de pommes d’amour enluminée à la tartrique et au gingembre (apples in syrup spiced with cloves) – and it was served in a bowl, not unlike the way melon balls are eaten.

The traditional recipe for drambuie is made with Scotch whisky, Scottish heather honey from bees that feed on heather flowers, spices such as ginger root and cloves, then aged in oak casks of sherry wine. It's often referred to as "the most famous Scot" because Robert Louis Stevenson wrote an essay about his father's love for this drink - although we can't say if these were words that inspired it or just how much he loved drinking it!

History of Drambuie and interesting facts

History of Drambuie

Drambuie is a whisky-based liqueur made from honey, spices and herbs. It was first created by an 18th century Scottish doctor who mixed together medicinal ingredients to help his patients feel better after their surgery. The recipe for the drink changed hands many times before it was eventually bought by Whyte & Mackay in 1929. Today, it's sold all over the world with its main export being to France where they are known as "The Deer".

An alternative version of events has Prince Charles Edward Stuart fleeing to the Isle of Skye after the Battle of Culloden where he was granted shelter from Captain John MacKinnon of Clan MacKinnon. Legend has it Bonnie Prince Charlie, as he is known, rewarded the captain of the MacKinnon family with this special drink recipe.

In 2014, the Drambuie brand was sold to the maker of Glenfiddich, William Grant & Sons. for about £100 million.

Interesting Facts

Drambuie is made from a secret recipe, which has been passed down through the generations. The liqueur is matured in oak casks for at least five years and contains heather honey with over 40 different herbs and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger root, coriander seed, cardamom seeds and angelica roots. Its flavors have also been described as being reminiscent of pine forests or citrus fruits.

It was invented by two Scotsmen, John MacDonald and George Ballantine, who were looking for the perfect drink to offer their guests so they created this liqueur that is still made today at The MacKinnon Brothers Distillery on the Isle of Skye.

The word Drambuie is derived from the Gaelic phrase 'An Dram Buidheach', which means "The drink that satisfies." It's made with a secret recipe that includes honey, herbs originally found on MacKinnon land such as heather and local spices like ginger, cinnamon & nutmeg.

What does Drambuie taste like?

Drambuie tastes like a delicate mix of honey, spices and fruit. It is not overly sweet though it has a subtle sweetness in the background that makes you want to take another sip. There are also hints of citrus flavors and cinnamon with a smooth finish.

Aside from its drinkability, Drambuie is a perfect ingredient in cocktails. The liqueur has an alcohol content of 40% by volume and can be used for both sweet and savory drinks. It's not just limited to the classics you might think though: drambuie lends itself well to more unique tipples like a Laphroaig Spritz or a whisky sour.

Drambuie is also used as an ingredient in cooking and baking, such as adding it to risotto for its sweet honey notes or using it to glaze ham with the sweetness of a port sauce. It can be paired nicely with rich meats like lamb shank braised in red wine, honey roasted ham or even in a sweet-heat glaze.

How do you drink Drambuie?

Drambuie tastes delicious on its own or in cocktails. One of the best ways to enjoy it is with ice and a single lemon peel, like an old fashioned. You can also use Drambuie in place of bourbon for your favorite whiskey cocktail recipes, including Old-Fashioneds (see our recipe here) as well as Manhattans!

The first step would be to pour some Drambuie into your glass then add iced water until you reach desired level of dilution – typically half & half or three quarters water/half drambui mixture; this will depend on whether you prefer more sweetness or bitterness respectively. Next, squeeze one fresh lemon peel over top before stirring briefly with a spoon. Don't forget to garnish with a lemon peel!

You can also use Drambuie in place of bourbon for your favorite whiskey cocktail recipes, including Old-Fashioneds (see our recipe here) as well as Manhattans. The first step would be to pour some drambui into your glass then add iced water until you reach desired level of dilution – typically half & half or three quarters water/half drambui mixture; this will depend on whether you prefer more sweetness or bitterness respectively. Next, squeeze one fresh lemon peel over top before stirring briefly with a spoon. Don't forget to garnish with a lemon peel!

Is Drambuie a whiskey?

Yes, it's technically a whiskey. It is made in the Lowlands region of Scotland and derives its flavor from honey rather than barley malt (which has become more common for whisky production). That might sound too sweet to you if you're used to drinking American bourbons or Irish whiskeys but Drambuie holds up really well as an after-dinner drink with some ice cubes. You can also mix it into cocktails like this one...

The Scots have been mixing Drambuie with ginger ale since at least 1826 so that should tell you something about how much they love their own liquor!

Recipes with Drambuie

Last Word Cocktail using Drambuie

The last word cocktail is a drink that’s both refreshing and strong. The recipe includes Drambuie, ginger ale and lime juice. This mixed drinks are perfect for warmer nights!

Ingredients: Drambuie (booze), Lime Juice, Ginger Ale, Ice Cubes

Directions: In your glass or beer mug combine the Drambuie with lime juice. Add ice cubes as needed until it's to desired thickness then pour in the ginger ale. Stir gently before drinking. Optional garnish can be fresh berries if you like something sweeter on top of your drink; but this is not necessary because the flavor profile of these ingredients will give you enough sweetness without adding extra sugar from fruit.

 

Drambuie and Coffee

Ingredients: Drambuie, espresso or coffee (your choice)

Directions: Combine a shot of freshly brewed espresso with a shot of the honey liqueur in an Irish Coffee mug. Stir gently until fully combined. Add ice to chill if desired; top with whipped cream and grated chocolate – enjoy!

 

Whisky Sour with Drambuie

Ingredients: whisky, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup, Drambuie liqueur, applejack brandy - your choice - grenadine or raspberry puree for color as needed.

Directions: Prepare ingredients by pouring whisky over ice in a highball glass then add lemon juice and stir well. Mix together equal amounts of sugar syrup and Drambuie in a shaker with ice then strain into the highball glass. Add grenadine or raspberry puree to give it color as needed – enjoy!

 

Drambuie and Ginger Ale (or Club Soda)

Ingredients: Drambuie, ginger ale (your choice)

Directions: Pour the honey liqueur into a highball glass filled with ice then top it off with your favorite brand of ginger ale. Enjoy!

 

Rusty Nail Cocktail

Ingredients: Drambuie, whisky (your choice)

Directions: Pour the honey liqueur over ice in a rocks glass then top it with your favorite type of scotch or irish whiskey. Stir gently to mix – enjoy! You can also top it with a lemon twist or orange peel.

Trust me you'll love this classic cocktail if you're looking for something sweet but strong. This is also one of my personal favorites because it's easy to make and delicious. The only thing that may be difficult about making this cocktail is finding the Drambuie which can typically be found at liquor stores as well as grocery markets like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market since they have their own brands available there too; so keep an eye out when shopping around town!

Final thoughts on Drambuie

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

— John Muir

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Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors