Affinity Cocktail Scotch Sweet Vermouth Dry Vermouth Angostura Bitters


The AFFINITY is a Perfect Rob Roy for somebody with a vermouth fetish. A Rob Roy is a Manhattan with Scotch, and a Perfect Rob Roy divides the normal sweet vermouth allocation into equal parts sweet and dry vermouths. But while a proper Perfect Rob Roy usually combines 2 parts Scotch with 1 part vermouth (half dry and half sweet), the AFFINITY amps up the vermouth by a factor of 4, for a 1:2 Scotch to vermouth ratio! For some reason I keep thinking of that Schoolhouse Rock episode and the song “Don’t Drown Your Food (In Ketchup or Mayo or Goo)”. Don’t drown your Rob Roy in vermouth, indeed.

.75 oz. Scotch (Famous Grouse)
.75 oz. sweet vermouth (Dolin)
.75 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin)
A few dashes of Angostura bitters

Combine with ice; shake. Strain. Add ice, and a twist of lemon plus peel, and top with a cherry.

Eric: “This is not great. What are we doing wrong?”
Brian: “All I can taste is vermouth.”
Eric: “This is better than the Adonis, but only barely.”
Brian: “Too earthy. It tastes of earth.”

Later I stumble across a place called Bramblebar U.K. that combines Glenmorangie 10 year, Byrrh, and Noilly Prat Dry, then serves this version of the AFFINITY to their customers in these handsome bottles:


So of course we have to give it another go. We decide to ramp up the Scotch and make the ratios a little closer to a Perfect Rob Roy.

THE MODIFIED AFFINTY (Rituals Variation)
1 oz. Scotch (Famous Grouse)
.5 oz. sweet vermouth (Dolin)
.5 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin)
A few dashes of Angostura bitters

This is better, but the drink really needs to go all of the way and become a Perfect Rob Roy. But it’s not a Perfect Rob Roy, it’s an AFFINITY, so we can’t very well do that, can we? Brian feels that the drink needs a little more citrus and adds a few too many dashes of orange bitters. This seems incrementally better as well, but it’s impossible to say for sure. We are non-plussed. We are untethered. Does the beverage in that handsome Bramblebar bottle taste like the thing we are drinking? Hmmm.

SCORES: Brian: 2 for the original, 2.5 for the Modified Affinity, 3 for the Double-Modified Affinity (with orange bitters). Eric: 2, 3, 4.

Eric D. Anderson


Eric D. Anderson came to appreciate cocktails late in life and is trying to make up for lost time. He finds that crafting drinks involves the same precision, creativity, sociability, and ritual as baking—another passion—and believes that it brings people together in the same way. Eric is the director of Way of the Puck, a feature-length documentary about professional air hockey, and the editor of Stories of Quitting (, an online collection of true stories that celebrate giving up. His writing has appeared in AGNI, Painted Bride Quarterly, Perigee, Giant Robot, and Wild Quarterly, among other publications. In his free time he works as a camera operator on commercials and motion pictures.

Always drink responsibly!