how to make a rusty nail cocktail drink

The Rusty Nail is one of the classic drinks that dates back to the early 20th century. The drink contains just two ingredients and is a very simple drink to make. The base ingredient is the Scotch Whisky, while the other is a liqueur that is based on Whisky. Despite the simplicity of the drink, it has been one of the popular drinks over the decades.

The early recipe appeared in Diffords Guide to cocktails. It has since then made to the Difford’s Guide to Top 100 Cocktails. Most people who like whiskey and in particular the Scotch Whisky should find this drink delightful. The drink can be made in a different ways. It is usually made in an old fashioned glass over ice. But you could very well serve with with out ice or can be served up in a martini glass.


  • 3 shots of Blended Scotch Whisky
  • 1 shot of Drambuie
  • a lemon peel for garnish


  1. Add 3 shots of blended Scotch Whisky into martini shaker (or a rock glass)
  2. Add a shot of the Drambuie into the shaker
  3. Stir the contents well with a stir or bar spoon
  4. Fill an Old fashioned glass (or a Rock glass) with ice
  5. Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass
  6. Garnish with a lemon peel or twist
rusty nail cocktail drink

Variations and Similar Drinks

Rusty Bob: If you are not a fan of Scotch Whisky, you could substitute it for Bourbon Whiskey.
Smoky Nail: The Isley Whisky which is usually much more smoky in flavor is used instead of the Scotch Whisky
Clavo Ahumado: This drink is made with Mezcal that has a smoky flavor instead of the Scotch Whisky. The name of the drink translates to Smoky Nail.

Tips and Notes

  • The drink is usually served on rocks in an old fashioned glass or a rocks glass.
  • You can also serve the drink straight up or neat as well. You can serve it “up” as a martini in a martini glass.
  • Some recipes call for equal parts of Whisky and Drambuie, which is probably a little on the sweeter side.