The Arnaud's Special Recipe

Robyn Lee

It's not yet officially autumn, but for many drinkers the passing of Labor Day means it's time to put away the white booze along with the white shoes and to break out the dark spirits for the cooler months.

Last winter I wrote about a classic scotch cocktail, the Rob Roy; consider the Arnaud's Special the Rob Roy's southern cousin.

As Ted Haigh writes in Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails (this drink is from the expanded selection in the 2009 Deluxe Edition), the Arnaud's Special was the signature cocktail at Arnaud's restaurant in New Orleans during the 1940s and '50s. The drink is essentially a Rob Roy with Dubonnet Rouge substituted for sweet vermouth, and with orange bitters in place of Angostura. Dubonnet and sweet vermouth are close cousins, but the nuanced differences result in a somewhat brighter drink. With the orange bitters, the Arnaud's Special has a crisp edge as compared to the Rob Roy's ponderous gravitas.

The Rob Roy and Arnaud's Special are both lovely drinks well-suited to the advance of autumn.

Recipe Details

The Arnaud's Special Recipe

Active 2 mins
Total 2 mins
Serves 1 serving


  • 2 ounces blended scotch whisky (Famous Grouse is a good option)

  • 1 ounce Dubonnet Rouge

  • 3 dashes orange bitters

  • Orange twist, for garnish


  1. Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well for 20 seconds; strain into chilled cocktail glass. Twist piece of orange peel over drink and use as garnish.

Special Equipment

Mixing glass, bar spoon, bar strainer

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
192 Calories
0g Fat
4g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 192
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 30mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)