The Bitter Bird- A Rob Roy-ish Cocktail

My favorite cocktails are the ones that are interesting twists on the classics. I’ve been enjoying the bottle of Suze I recently picked up, and wanted to work it into a new cocktail. Suze is a French aperitif with gentian. It is both sweet and bitter. I’ve been on a bit of a scotch kick lately, and also recently picked up a bottle of Black Grouse. I had never tried it before, but Serious Eats ran a piece on The Best Scotch to Buy on a Budget, and this was on their list.

If you’ve never had a Rob Roy before, it’s a Manhattan made with scotch instead of rye (or bourbon). Using that as my starting point, I decided to replace the sweet vermouth with the Suze. You would get the same sweetness, but a lot more bitterness. To be honest, I’m still working out the ratio, but I’m confident I’ll get there. I had to throw in the towel after making three of these yesterday, or else I would have been a mess. Any thoughts on what your ideal ratio might look like? Leave a comment below.

The Bitter Bird
The Bitter Bird

If you like what you see, please consider hiring me for an in-home dinner or cooking lesson. I run a personal chef business based out of Frederick, MD. Get more information here. Thank you.

Chris Spear


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