The Rusty Nail

About two years ago, I was at a restaurant with my wife and some friends in Michigan, and I ordered a rusty nail. The waiter looked at me for just a second, then replied, “Good for you.”

I have to say that I’ve never had that kind of reaction from a waiter on anything I have ordered. I asked him what he meant by that, and he told me that not many people order that drink; it’s not a fad drink, and I must know what I want if I’m going to order a rusty nail.

Rusty Nail Ingredients

I guess that’s true. I’ve always thought the rusty nail was a good drink. And Fox News listed it as one of the manliest cocktails. And, to make it even better, it’s really easy to make.

What’s in a rusty nail? You can guess from the fact that it’s on Livefire Whisky that there’s scotch involved. Add to that some Drambuie, which is probably the best known liqueur made with scotch. Add ice, and that’s all you really need, though a good bartender will add a twist of lemon peel. I’ve had it with a couple of coffee beans in it, and I like that, too.


There are different “recipes”, meaning rations of scotch to Drambuie, from 1:1 to 3:1. I like something around 2:1 usually, though, for after dinner, 1:1 or 1.5:1 works well. And for the scotch, I’ve been known to use a simple single malt like Highland Park 12 yo, but have found I like Black Bottle really well for this, or Johnnie Walker Double Black. The Drambuie kind of negates that need for a single malt.

Rusty Nail

It’s a nice, easy to drink cocktail that, for some odd reason, seems to impress waiters in Michigan. But the main thing is that it tastes great!

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.

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