Drambuie Recipe

Homemade Drambuie in a reused bottle
Homemade Drambuie

Drambuie Experiment #2 was a blazing success.  The recipe below is very close to Drambuie and is absolutely excellent.  I used my own raw honey in it, and I’m of the opinion it’s every bit as good as the much hyped heather honey in Drambuie!  The beverage, like Drambuie, is 80 proof (40% alcohol).


  • 1.75 liter (L) Chivas Regal Scotch (blended)
  • 1.75 L 151 Everclear (75.5% alcohol)
  • 1.75 L raw honey
  • 5 rounded tablespoons Fennel seed

(One liter is about a quart)

Mix the alcohol.  Crush the fennel seed in a mortar and pestle and add to the alcohol mixture.  Bottle with as little head-space as possible and leave for three days; invert mixture daily.  Then strain out the fennel seed and mix in the honey.  Mix the alcohol in in small amounts until the honey loosens up enough to add to the bulk of the alcohol.  Bottle with as little head-space as possible.  Mine is a little cloudy, and if this is a concern:  (1) siphon the alcohol mix off of the fennel instead of straining it (with straining fine particulates always get through), and (2) use refined honey.

It’s a pretty simple recipe — much easier than Limoncello — and the cost is much less than buying Drambuie.

750 ml of Drambuie costs about $35.

This recipe will cost about $12/750 ml bottle if the honey is free:

  • 1.75 L of blended Chivas Regal Scotch costs about $55.
  • 1.75 L of 151 Everclear costs about $30.
  • With the honey, this recipe will make about 5.25 L:  7 bottles.
  • ($30 + $50)/5.25*0.75 = $12.  If you pay for the honey, every $14 (the cost for the needed amount of Sue Bee honey at Walmart) will add $2 per 750 ml bottle.
  • Total savings:  ($35-$12)*7 = $161

At 80 proof it will keep forever, and will make nice presents for your adult friends!





(Bourbon) Drambuie Experiment #1 — UPDATED

drambuieUPDATE: True Drambuie starts with a honey flavor, ends with a clean licorice flavor and is underpinned throughout with mild whisky.  What I made had a slight new flavor, and the bourbon knocked out the licorice finish.  While very nice on ice, not what I was aiming for.  Expect to post Experiment #2 by 10/29.

Drambuie is an 80 proof Scottish liqueur made from Chivas Regal Scotch, honey and a secret blend of herbs, that costs about $35 for 750 ml.  It’s very tasty, and since I have honey, I decided to try to replicate it or at least make something similar that is equally tasty.

Most “Drambuie” recipes call for a lot of rosemary, and some also have fennel seed as an ingredient.  When I taste Drambuie I taste only non-peaty scotch, honey and fennel, so I went light on the rosemary.  As for the alcohol, I used Evan Williams 1783 bourbon, which is 43% alcohol, or 86 proof.  Fine Scotch costs so much because it’s imported, and I think bourbon is superior.  1783 is not top-shelf bourbon, but it’s very palatable and reasonably priced.  Since the honey is free, this would result in a liqueur costing 25 percent of the cost of Drambuie.  On the other hand, the Bourbon Drambuie will be 32% alcohol instead of 40%.  Below is the recipe I used:

  • 750 ml Evan Williams 1783 bourbon
  • 1 1/3 cups honey
  • 1 rounded tablespoon fennel seed, coarsely chopped in a blender
  • 1 teaspoon (chopped and pressed down) fresh rosemary

Put the honey and herbs in the bowl first, and then slowly add a little bourbon at a time and whisk.  When the honey’s loose enough for easy mixing, add the rest of the bourbon.  Put the mixture into a quart-sized jar for aging.  As luck would have it, it won’t all fit :).  Strain the remainder and put in a glass with some ice-cubes and enjoy.  Add the strainer leavings to the quart jar and seal.

I’m gong to leave it sit for a month or two to ensure the fennel and rosemary flavors make their way into the liqueur.

The fresh remnants were lovely and I have high hopes for the final result.  My husband thought it was very good, but that the bourbon was a little strong.  I agreed, and thought that was a very fine thing.