Robert Burns Cocktail Recipe

Robert Burns Cocktail
The Robert Burns is a great way to enjoy a good Scotch. Rob Palmer/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Ratings (8)
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

The Robert Burns is one of those classic cocktails from the golden age of adult beverages. Most people would associate the drink with Robert Burns, the famed Scottish poet of the 1700's. According to A.S. Crockett's "The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book", it may have been named after a cigar salesman who was a regular at the bar.

The drink itself is a delightful, sophisticated mix that builds on the Scotch-vermouth combination of the Rob Roy. The addition of absinthe brings in a nice contrasting flavor, though be sure to keep this accent to a dash, as it can easily overpower the drink.

It is a Scottish tradition to celebrate the poet Burns' birthday on January 25th of each year during what is known as Burns Night. You can read more about Robert Burns and Burns Night here: What Is Burns Night?


Steps to Make It

  1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Bobby Burns Cocktail

A classic twist on the Robert Burns is the Bobby Burns cocktail. Typically mixed with a Highland single malt scotch, it uses the same proportions of whiskey and sweet vermouth. The difference is that the Bobby Burns skips the absinthe and bitters, pouring 1/2 ounce Benedictine instead.