Scotch is one of the most popular forms of whiskey out there. While it’s often enjoyed on the rocks or cut with chilled water, Scotch can also be a delicious ingredient in many tasty cocktails!
If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy Scotch, then we’ve got you covered. In this handy list, we’ve gathered 23 simple and refreshing Scotch cocktails that you need to try right now!
So let’s get started, and take a look at 23 of the best simple Scotch cocktails out there!
23 Simple Scotch Cocktails
1) Scotch Manhattan
Also known as the Rob Roy, this take on the iconic Manhattan cocktail swaps out the rye whiskey for smoky Scotch. With a smoother and oaky flavor that perfectly matches the delicately sweet and lightly spiced sweet vermouth.
Add a dash of Angostura bitters for a herby hit to balance out the cocktail, and a lemon twist or Maraschino cherries as a garnish.
This simple cocktail is iconic for a reason, and its delicious blend of simple yet bold flavors makes it incredibly smooth and drinkable. Serve straight or on the rocks!
2) Scotch And Soda
Sometimes simple is best, and this basic cocktail made with Scotch whiskey and club soda is the perfect drink for letting the beautiful taste of Scotch shine through.
This drink is incredibly simple to make, using just two ingredients and some ice. A double shot of Scotch is topped up with club soda – use a short pour for a sharper whiskey flavor, or top up the glass for a softer, smoother drink.
3) Smoky Martini
A classic cocktail is given a smoky twist with this version of a martini. The smoky martini switches up the clean, crisp taste of a regular martini by replacing the dry vermouth with Scotch whiskey.
This adds a pale golden tint to the drink, and adds a touch of sweetness and an oak-smoked flavor. Garnish with a lemon twist for a hit of citrus.
4) Scotch Sour
Despite using only a handful of ingredients, this intriguing cocktail has a complex flavor that works perfectly with the sharp, clean taste of Scotch.
A double shot of Scotch is mixed with lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white before being dry shaken in a cocktail shaker and strained.
The egg white adds lots of airy froth to the drink, while the lemon juice and orange twist garnish give this zesty cocktail a citrus twang.
5) Classic Old Fashioned
It’s not hard to see how the Old Fashioned is one of the most popular whiskey cocktails, as well as one of the best cocktails in general! This remarkably basic recipe combines a simple mix of Scotch, bitters, and simple syrup.
Topped with a zesty orange twist and a fragrant sprig of rosemary, this iconic cocktail is smooth, complex, and refreshing. What more could you ask for?
6) Scotch And Coke
Whiskey and coke are a match made in heaven, and this simple cocktail proves why. The sharp flavors of the Scotch are balanced by the sweetness of the coke.
The combination of smoky and earthy tastes of Scotch work perfectly with hints of caramel and vanilla, while a lemon or lime twist adds a zesty hit that ties it all together.
7) Strawberry Scotch Cocktail
Fruity and whiskey aren’t typically flavors that people associate with each other, but this delicious cocktail shows how tasty the combo can be.
Light, bubbly, and sweet, this blend of strawberries and scotch makes a tart drink that is perfectly balanced with simple syrup and topped up with soda water.
8) The Godfather
Looking for a rich, smooth cocktail that’s on the stronger side? Then look no further than The Godfather!
This tasty cocktail uses a simple blend of Scotch whiskey and amaretto for a silky, almost buttery drink that has a hint of sweetness to soften the sharpness of Scotch.
You can swap up the ratio of amaretto to Scotch to suit your preferences, but this recipe puts the bold taste of Scotch in front with a soft sweetness from the almond liqueur.
9) Scotch Mint Julep
Normally made with bourbon, mint juleps are known for their sharp and herby taste. By swapping out the sweeter bourbon for Scotch, the bitter mint and simple syrup are elevated by smoky, woody notes.
Refreshing and smooth, this tasty cocktail is best served over ice and topped with soda water.
10) Blood And Sand
Don’t let its name put you off – Blood and Sand is a deliciously complex drink that features sweet, fruity, and lightly spicy notes.
The bold flavors of Scotch, cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth and orange juice might not seem like they would work together, but this strange cocktail combines them into a refreshing and sweet cocktail with perfectly balanced flavors, perfect for a warm Summer evening.
11) Caledonian Spritzer
You might find it hard to believe that Scotch is an ingredient in this vibrant tropical cocktail, let alone the main player.
Mixed with sweet Riesling wine, pineapple juice, and a dash of thyme syrup, this fruity drink masks the typical burn and sharper notes of Scotch; instead, the smoky sweet hints accentuate the herby and fruity flavors of the other ingredients.
Serve over ice with a pineapple wedge and a sprig of thyme.
12) Smoked Rose Cocktail
Scotch is already known for its distinctive smoky taste, but this simple recipe takes this to a whole new level. Named for the smoky sprig of dried rosemary used to cloud the glass, this delicious drink tastes just as good as it smells.
Scotch, green chartreuse liqueur, and rosemary syrup are stirred in ice and poured into the smoky glass for a fragrant and herby cocktail.
13) The Presbyterian
If you’re a fan of whiskey but don’t enjoy the sharp, almost harsh taste of Scotch, then this light cocktail is a perfect drink for you.
A mix of Scotch, ginger ale, and club soda, the Presbyterian softens the taste of Scotch and adds a hint of sweetness to balance it out. The ginger ale adds a gentle spice without overpowering the Scotch, letting its taste shine through.
One of the most popular Scotch cocktails out there, penicillin is named after the medicine due to the supposed health benefits of its ingredients. These include ginger, honey, lemon, and (of course!) Scotch.
This zesty drink mixes some bold flavors for a smooth cocktail fronted by the Scotch, but with hints of ginger spice, citrus, and the sweetness of honey to balance it out.
Penicillin is incredibly drinkable, despite having a higher alcohol content than most of these recipes. Regardless of whether its health benefits are real, this drink is a perfect pick-me-up after a long day!
15) Mamie Taylor
This incredibly simple cocktail can be whipped up in a matter of seconds! Using just two ingredients – Scotch and ginger ale – this cocktail is perfect if you’re a fan of Moscow Mules. Add a splash of lime juice for a citrus hit.
16) Classic Affinity
While there are several tasty variations on this recipe, the classic affinity cocktail will always rise to the top.
Its simple mix of Scotch, sweet and dry vermouth, and a dash of orange bitters give this basic cocktail plenty of flavor and a slight bitterness that compliments the Scotch’s smoky warmth.
With complex flavors and high alcohol content, it’s easy to see why this recipe is so popular!
17) Drunk Uncle
Here’s a cocktail that lives up to its name. With almost 3 units of alcohol per glass, it won’t take many of these to get you tipsy!
The combination of Scotch whiskey, sweet vermouth, and cynar (a herby artichoke liqueur), this complex cocktail balances sweet, bitter, and sharp flavors perfectly while still keeping the Scotch front and center.
Add some fruit for an extra bit of sweetness and acidity.
18) Scotch Collins
Traditionally served with bourbon for a sweeter taste, this Scotch Collins recipe swaps it out for the bolder, cleaner taste of Scotch. However, the stronger flavors of the Scotch are softened by lemon juice, simple syrup, and a splash of club soda.
This cocktail is refreshing and bubbly, and should be garnished with orange slices and Maraschino cherries to give it a pop of color.
19) Paris Between The Wars
This oddly-named Scotch cocktail is sweet and refreshing, with a golden color that matches its delicious fall flavors.
Scotch, Campari, lemon juice, and simple syrup are stirred together and topped with sparkling wine. It’s light, bubbly, and has a hint of sweetness that wraps it all together.
20) Rusty Nail
No list of great Scotch cocktails would be complete without this classic recipe. Using just two ingredients – Scotch and Drambuie – this sweet and smooth cocktail hides a surprisingly high alcohol content behind its delicate flavors.
The hints of honey and gentle spices from the Drambuie soften the Scotch, making this tasty cocktail go down dangerously smooth.
21) Scotch Sazerac
Swap out the bourbon or rye whiskey in this powerful cocktail for the sharper, cleaner tastes of Scotch to elevate this classic recipe to new heights.
This lets the taste of Scotch and absinthe shine through and mingle with each other, without taking away from the dashes of Peychaud’s bitters to balance it out.
A sprinkle of sugar and lemon peel add the sweetness and zestiness needed to keep this deceptively strong cocktail grounded.
22) Robert Burns
Also known as the ‘Bobby Burns’, this cocktail is named after the famous Scottish poet. It takes just a few minutes to make, needing just Scotch, sweet vermouth, and some orange bitters or Benedictine for a more complex taste.
23) Scotch Hot Toddy
The perfect drink for a cold Winter evening, the classic hot toddy is warming and lightly sweet.
Made by mixing Scotch, honey, lemon juice, and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and/or cloves, this tasty drink is topped with hot water and mixed until all the ingredients are combined.
It’s sweet, fragrant, and lightly spiced for a cocktail that will keep you warm on those frosty Winter nights.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Strong Are These Cocktails?
In general, most Scotch will come in at 40% ABV, which is standard for spirits. As a result, a single measure of Scotch is one unit of alcohol.
Most of these recipes call for either one or two measures of Scotch, so it will take a couple of them to get most people tipsy.
With that said, however, some of these cocktails definitely pack a punch – the Scotch sazerac, Bobby Burns, and the Godfather all contain a fair bit of alcohol and are definitely on the stronger side.
It’s also important to remember that mixing alcohol (which several of these recipes do) will make you get drunk more easily. Always make sure to drink responsibly.
What Mixers Are Best With Scotch?
While scotch is great on the rocks, it also works well with a variety of mixers. Club soda is one of the best options, as its clear, unsweetened taste lets the Scotch shine through.
Ginger ale, cola, and even Sprite are also great choices for a mixer with your Scotch, and will accentuate the smoky, oaky flavor of the alcohol.
Can I Use Bourbon Instead Of Scotch?
While Scotch and bourbon are both popular types of whiskey, there are several differences between the two. Bourbon is notably sweeter and typically contains flavors like vanilla, caramel, and spices.
Meanwhile, Scotch has a cleaner, purer taste with a bit more burn; this can be an acquired taste, and blended Scotch (a mix of malt and grain whiskies) tends to go down smoother.
While you can swap out the Scotch in these recipes for bourbon, bear in mind that this will affect the taste and sweetness of your cocktails.
And there you are – 23 deliciously simple Scotch recipes. Scotch is a versatile alcohol that works perfectly in far more cocktails than you might realize, and its distinct, sharp taste helps it stand out no matter what it’s mixed with.
So now that you’ve taken a look at 23 of the best Scotch cocktails, all that’s left for you to do is give them a try for yourself – you’re sure to find something to love here!
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