Drambuie Price, Sizes & Buying Guide

Looking for an updated Drambuie price guide? Drambuie is a sweet, gold-colored liqueur with a Scottish whisky base, accented with the flavors of Scottish heather, honey, herbs, and spices.

Scottish whiskeys are blended to produce Drambuie. The exact recipe is still carefully kept secret and only 3 people have access to it, one of who is the fifth generation of their founder William Grant.

He still personally mixes each batch of Drambuie. As one would imagine, based on the use of Scottish whiskeys, Drambuie is produced in Scotland and sold internationally.

The secret recipe can be traced back to the Royal Apothecary for Charles Edward Stuart, also known as Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 18th century.

The History of Drambuie

history of drambuie

The story goes that in 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie traveled from Rome to raise an army to restore his exiled family, The House of Stuart, to the throne of Great Britain.

He brought Drambuie back to Britain as his personal draft, and he sipped a few drops each day for enhanced strength and vitality.

Although unsuccessful in his bid to win back the throne of Britain when he lost the Battle of Culloden in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie managed to escape to The Isle of Skye.

He was eventually caught by the Clan MacKinnon, who then assisted the Prince to escape the British Isles for good. In appreciation of this escape, Bonnie Prince Charlie handed over the recipe for Drambuie to the clan leader, John MacKinnon.

Approximately a century later the hotelier at Broadford Hotel on Skye, called John Ross, persuaded the MacKinnon clan to allow him to make a batch of Drambuie according to the original recipe.

Two of the hotel locals sampled the final product and declared it to be An Dram Buidheach “’The Drink That Satisfies.” The Drambuie name was registered and patented in 1893.

The Drambuie Liquor Company Ltd was created in 1914 and began motivating export plans. In 2014, William Grant & Sons acquired the Drambuie brand and recipe which is now produced at a blending facility near Glasgow.

Although the recipe is still kept safe, it is known that the whisky is a blend of malts from the Speyside and Highland regions of Scotland.

After blending the whiskeys, it is sweetened with Scottish heather honey and infused with herbs and spices. The exact combination of spices is not known, but it most likely includes cloves and saffron.

Drambuie is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume (ABV, 80 proof).

Drambuie Price, Variations & Sizes

In addition to the original recipe of Drambuie, the range has extended over the centuries and now includes:

Name Size Proof Average Price
Drambuie 375ml 80 $22
750ml 80 $36
Drambuie 15 750ml 86 $54
Drambuie Royal Legacy 1745 700ml 92 $291

drambuie 15Drambuie 15

This is made from a selection of 15-year-old Speyside malts resulting in an 86-proof product. The result is a drier liqueur with a warming, velvety feel in the mouth combined with soft malt notes.

Only 15-year-old Speyside malts are used in the production of Drambuie 15. That additional aging adds some extra cost selling at approximately $54 a bottle.

Drambuie Royal Legacy 1745

drambuie royal legacy 1745
Image: Petra de Boevere

To celebrate the centennial anniversary since Drambuie was officially launched, the company launched a 2,500 bottle special limited edition of Drambuie Royal Legacy 1745.

This combines all the best ingredients and techniques gained from the centuries’ worth of experience and is considered to be the best that Drambuie has ever produced.

Drambuie Alternatives

The two best-known Scottish liqueurs are Drambuie and Glayva, with a Scotch whisky foundation, sweetened with honey, and flavored with herbs and spices.

Although comparable in flavor, they are decidedly different.

Drambuie is more focused on the scotch and honey flavor while Glayva offers a softer profile with a tangerine and herbal bouquet taste. It’s basically a flavored whisky (Drambuie) versus an herbal liqueur (Glayva).

Other than Glayva, there are hardly any competitors to Drambuie. Chivas Regal‘s Lochan Ora can be described as a competitor, but its production has been discontinued in 2008 and it is rarely available.

Bénédictine is sometimes used as a substitute, offering a more botanical taste.

What Are Some Drinks to Make with Drambuie?

drinks to make with drambuie

The best-known and most popular drink made using Drambuie is the Rusty Nail. It takes two parts blended scotch, one part Drambuie, and a lemon twist.

Other ways to drink Drambuie are

  • Straight on the rocks,
  • In an ice-filled glass topped with club soda, ginger ale, or ginger beer.
  • In Scotch coffee as a replacement for whiskey
  • A dessert drink or soothing nightcap.

Drambuie Specifications

  • Ingredients: Scotch whisky, heather honey, herbs, spices
  • Proof: 80
  • Alcohol by volume (ABV): 40%
  • Calories in a shot: 106
  • Origin: Scotland
  • Taste: Scotch and honey, spiced
  • Serve: Straight, on the rocks, cocktails, shots

Cocktails

 

Some of the more popular cocktails that excel with the complex flavor of Drambuie.

Rusty Nail

The Rusty Nail cocktail only uses two ingredients combined with ice. It’s best in a glass that has been chilled before mixing the two ingredients together with a large piece of ice.

Rusty Nail cocktails became famous when it was the preferred drink for the Rat Pack members, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Most people find that Drambuie on its own is too sweet, but mixing it with other Scottish whiskeys makes it more palatable.

Traditionally, a Rusty Nail was made from equal parts Scotch and Drambuie, but the sweetness allowed people to play around with the mixture. The most popular combination today includes 2 ounces Scotch and 1/2 ounce Drambuie. People that prefer a sweeter drink tend to prefer one part of whiskey with ¾ part Drambuie.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces blended Scotch
  • 1/2 ounce Drambuie

Instructions

  • Pre-cool the glass in the freezer.
  • Pour the Scotch and Drambuie into a mixing glass.
  • Fill the mixing glass to 2/3 with ice
  • Stir the mixture on the ice until chilled.
  • Strain from mixing glass into the pre-cooled glass over a big cube of ice.

Drambuie Collins Cocktail

The sweet, golden Drambuie is brightened up by lemon and fresh mint, making for a refreshing cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1 Lemon
  • 2oz Drambuie
  • 4oz Soda
  • 8 Mint leaves

Instructions

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a tall glass

Add the Drambuie and soda and stir

Add the mint as a garnish.

Tip: For a more minty taste, slightly perish the mint before placing it into the glass.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does Drambuie taste like?

Drambuie has a superbly smooth taste that is perfectly sweet and delightfully complex. A sweet taste produced by heather honey from Scotland is made more complex by the notes of anise, orange peel, and oak.

The whiskey taste is not understated and rather bold compared to some other liqueurs.

2. How much alcohol is in Drambuie?

Honey used in the production doesn’t water down the scotch at all, leaving Drambuie clocks at 40 percent ABV, making it a full-proof spirit.

3. Where to buy Drambuie?

Drambuie is available at all liquor stores nationwide and online liquor retailers.

4. Does liqueur expire?

Liqueurs that are unopened can generally last for approximately 12 months without showing any defects. However, if the liqueur shows any sign of discoloration, curdling, or crystallization, it’s advisable to dispose of it.

Cream liqueurs tend to last slightly longer and should be disposed of around the 18-month mark.

5. Does Drambuie go bad if unopened?

Distilled spirits like whiskey, rum, brandy, gin, vodka, and tequila tend not to go bad if unopened.

However, liqueurs with higher sugar content and other ingredients such as Drambuie spoil faster.

Therefore, you are advised to drink your Drambuie within twelve months.

6. How long do liqueurs last once opened?

Sweetened and distilled spirits with added flavors are expected to last up to six months after opening while cream liqueurs can be stored in a cold place to extend their shelf life.

7. Should Drambuie be refrigerated?

Digestif liqueurs such as Drambuie and Kahlua, and Cream Liqueurs such as Irish Cream and Tequila Cream should be refrigerated once opened.