Extreme Makeover Part 2: Rusty Nail
From Shake, Strain & Sip on Feb 20, 2013
One of my favorite and most under appreciated cocktails that deserves a second thought is the classic Rusty Nail, a simple concoction of blended scotch and a scotch based liqueur, Drambuie. According to David Wondrich, like most cocktails the true origins of the Rusty Nail lie in obscurity. He alludes to the cocktail's humble beginnings in 1937 starting with a B.I.F (which stood for British Industries Fair)created by one F. Benjamin which called for 3 parts spirit to 1 part Drambuie and a dash of Angostura bitters. Sometime later, the swanky Little ClubNo. 1 served it much in the form as it is today, as a D&S. It wouldn't be until the late 1960's that it found it's current namesake mentioned in The New York Times, which definitely helped spread the word and gain real notice.
Of course,American preferencesturned away from classically style drinks during most of thelatter 20th century in orderto make way for more sweet, fruity, and colorful concoctions that, generally speaking,barely resembled a real cocktail. As such, the Rusty Nail fell into being labeled a "grandpa cocktail". While simplistic in it's design and taste, it is our current focus of revitalization. The wonderful thing about this particular cocktail is that it's not one that I feel is passé in the least. On the contrary, I still enjoy one regularly, and as such I want to focus on more of a modern interpretation versusimprovement.Doing so involves finding compliments to the lightly peated blended scotch, and the herb and honey flavorsof Drambuie. I think bringing a little bitterness, vegetable and rich fruit will help compliment the peat, oak and honey and create a more nuanced cocktail that would attract awider audience. The original recipe is as follows:
2 oz Blended Scotch
1/2 oz Drambuie
Build in an Old Fashioned glass, top with ice, and stir to lightly combine and chill. Enjoy.