What is Drambuie

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Drambuie is a flavorful type of alcohol that provides an interesting alternative to standard whiskeys. 

What is Drambuie?

Drambuie is a Scottish spirit that was first developed in the 18th century. The distillery that makes it accredits the name to a Gaelic phrase ‘an dram buidheach’, which translates to ‘the drink that satisfies’. This liqueur was first made by adding honey, herbs, and spices to brandy. The base spirit was changed to whiskey in the 19th century, and from that point on it was known by its current name and widely commercialized.

Drambuie has a golden amber hue and an alcohol content of 40%. It is a blend of scotch whiskeys and offers flavors of heather honey, spices, and cloves. However, the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret.

This niche liqueur is made through a process of distilling gluten grains. Most nutritional bodies advise that the distilling process should successfully remove gluten proteins from any drink. However, if you are highly gluten intolerant, you might want to consider a potato-based spirit, such as vodka, as an alternative.

There are approximately 106 calories in 1 ounce of Drambuie, most of which come from carbohydrates.

A bottle of Drambuie next to a glass filled with it and a candle

Drambuie is a liqueur made from Scotch whiskey, honey, herbs, and spices. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to Make Drambuie?

The official recipe for Drambuie is, as mentioned, a closely guarded secret. However, it is possible to tweak an ordinary bottle of whiskey to get a similar end product.

    A bottle of Drambuie next to a glass filled with it and a candle

    Homemade Drambui Recipe

    You can use this recipe as a base for your own version of this classic Scottish liqueur. Play around with the flavors. You can also add ingredients like angelica root, star anise, fennel, nutmeg, and saffron. 
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    Course: Alcoholic drink
    Cuisine: Scottish
    Keyword: Drambuie
    Maturing Time: 14 days
    Servings: 1 Bottle
    Author: Paromita Datta


    • 750 ml whiskey
    • 6 oz honey
    • Zest of one small lemon
    • Zest from half an orange
    • 5 cloves
    • 1 fresh rosemary sprig


    • Put all the ingredients in the bottle and allow it to sit for two weeks. Shake, strain, and drink neat or on the rocks. 
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    About the Author

    John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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