Tonight I tried my hand at making some simple honey and Scotch based liqueurs. I made two very small experimental batches. One is an attempt to make something pretty similar to Drambuie. The other is meant to be almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Drambuie.

Not Drambuie

  • 3 oz Scotch
  • 3 oz honey syrup (1:1)
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 stalk lavender

I used Teacher's Highland Cream (my house Scotch) and, once again, local honey from Follow the Honey. I included the fennel seed as it is a clearly recognizable flavor in the real thing, and the lavender (from the garden) just on a whim. The concoction needs to steep for a few days, but my initial impression was positive. I don't expect to replicate the real thing, but this could turn out to be an good substitute.

Really Not Drambuie

  • 4.5 oz Scotch
  • 3 oz honey syrup (1:1)
  • 40 drops gentian tincture

I said simple, right? I've been thinking about trying to invent a new gentian based amaro. Tonight, I thought "why not make a bitter version of Drambuie?" The result is mixed. I really like the taste on its own. The Scotch and honey hit first, then the gentian takes over and lingers for a long time without overpowering. The only problem is, I can't think of anything I would mix it into. It's a bit too sweet to work as an amaro, and too bitter for a drink that needs a liqueur. I tried different proportions, but with less honey the gentian quickly got out of control.


The Not Drambuie seems like a cheap substitute for the real thing that takes very minimal effort. In a few days, I will strain it, taste it, and decided on any changes before making a full batch. The Really Not Drambuie is intriguing, but I will have to think about what purpose it serves. I could just drink it straight, of course, but I would like it to be more versatile than that.

Next Post Previous Post