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Issue 55 - Easy! It's a drink of two halves

Whisky Magazine Issue 55
April 2006


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Easy! It's a drink of two halves

Ian Wisniewski looks at the Rusty Nail

Various cocktails exert their own particular appeal, with the Cosmopolitan offering supreme fashionability, while the Dry Martini epitomises an ultimate sophistication.

But actually having to prepare one, rather than placing an order with a qualified professional, is another experience altogether.

That's when the hesitation and doubts begin.

Having to buy certain ingredients, which may only be used a drop or a dash at a time, can be decisive.

That's when a cocktail like the Rusty Nail is an ideal solution, offering ease of assembly as only two ingredients, Scotch whisky and Drambuie, are stirred together. With some recipes calling for equal measures of each, it couldn't be easier to remember. Typically served in an Old Fashioned glass, this also means that a tumbler will do.

Which Scotch whisky to choose is down to personal preference, and as some recipes stipulate a ratio of two parts Scotch to one part Drambuie, the character of the whisky will of course show more clearly.

Other variations include stirring the ingredients over ice cubes, which creates a little dilution that extends it into a slightly longer drink. Moreover, as dilution reduces the alcoholic strength, and ice lowers the temperature, this also alters the flavour profile the Scotch shows (whether this is an advantage depends of course on each individual palate).

The Rusty Nail is believed to have been created at the 21 Club in New York. Exactly when this might have been is uncertain, although the Rusty ...

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