1⁄2 oz Drambuie
1 twst Lemon peel (as garnish)
1 Brandied cherry (as garnish)

Stir; strain; up; garnish.


A mashup of a Rob Roy and a Rusty Nail. The proportions of the Scotch base may be altered according to the desire for smokiness.


Created for MxMo CXII: Mashups (October 2016). Version 2 splits the Scotch base with Islay, and specifies Punt e Mes as the vermouth.

Cocktail summary
Picture of Roysty Nail
Craig Eliason
Created by
Craig Eliason, Saint Paul, MN (USA)
Is the
author's original creation
Not yet rated
4 stars
(4 ratings)
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From other users
  • V. 2 marginally more interesting, still quite accessible. Used Famous Grouse and Bowmore Legend.
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I just had to try the "Roysty Nail:" A Rob Roy is one of my favorite before dinner drinks, and a Rusty Nail is one of my favorite evening cocktails. I must say that I was somewhat surprised how easily the drink went down--very smooth, no burn. On the downside, there was no outstanding notes or flavors, save from the Drambuie. For the blended Scotch I used Famous Grouse and for the Sweet Vermouth I used Antica Formula. I thought for sure the resulting drink would have more distictive notes given the sweet vermouth and Scotch, but I think the Drambuie overwhelms the other ingredients. As is, I rate the "Roysty Nail" between 3.0-3.5.

I'm going to make this cocktail again, but using different ingredients: (1) I may use a single malt Scotch so that it is more pronounced, (2) one person wondered if Punt e Mes might work for the sweet vermouth, so I will try it, and (3) I read on the Internet that Cocchi Americano can be used in place of a sweet vermouth. Finally, there is always Cinzano Rosso, which has a pronounced fruity flavor, which may overcome the blandness of the drink.

With some experimentation, I may get this drink into the 4.0 range, but for now, the Roysty Nail is a pleasant but somewhat bland drink, that has the potential to be a much better and more satisfying cocktail than it currently is.

Mojo, thanks for trying it out. Your take on it matches mine, so I made some alterations above which improve it some. Even still, its virtues are smoothness and accessibility rather than excitement and daring. 

(For the record, the original recipe was 2 oz blended Scotch, 1/2 oz sweet vermouth, 1/2 oz Drambuie, 2 dashes bitters, lemon twist and brandied cherry.)