Scofflaw Cocktail Recipe

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Scofflaw Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:27%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Scofflaw cocktail was created in 1924, during the Prohibition era in the United States. The term 'scofflaw' was coined in a nationwide contest to create a new word to describe 'a lawless drinker of illegally made or illegally obtained liquor'. The cocktail was created at Harry's New York Bar in Paris, a popular spot for American expatriates. The Scofflaw cocktail is a perfect blend of rye whiskey, dry vermouth, lemon juice, and grenadine, making it a favorite among whiskey lovers.

How Scofflaw Tastes?

The Scofflaw cocktail is a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors. The rye whiskey provides a strong, spicy base, balanced by the herbal notes of the dry vermouth. The lemon juice adds a refreshing tartness, while the grenadine imparts a subtle sweetness. The result is a complex, full-bodied cocktail with a smooth, lingering finish.

Interesting facts about Scofflaw

  • The Scofflaw cocktail was named after the term 'scofflaw', which was coined during the Prohibition era to describe those who illegally drank alcohol.
  • Despite its American origins, the Scofflaw cocktail was actually created in Paris.
  • The original recipe called for Canadian Club Whiskey, but it is now commonly made with rye whiskey.


Rye Whiskey

Rye whiskey is the backbone of the Scofflaw cocktail. It offers a spicy, grain-forward profile that balances the sweetness of the grenadine and the tartness of the lemon juice. Going above 2 oz might overpower other flavors; too little and you'll miss its characteristic kick. Substitute with bourbon for a sweeter, less spicy drink.

Emma Rose

Dry Vermouth

Dry vermouth brings a herbal complexity and helps to round out the whiskey's bite. Its subtle fortification softens the cocktail. Less vermouth would make the drink too harsh while too much could make it cloyingly botanical. No vermouth? A splash of white wine could mimic some notes but won't be quite the same.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

Fresh lemon juice is vital for that zesty tang and is what makes a Scofflaw refreshing. Too much could lead the drink into sour territory; too little and it's flat. If lemons are out of reach, try lime for a different kind of tart.

Mary Mitkina


This pomegranate syrup adds a rich color and a touch of sweetness to balance the acidity. Not enough grenadine, and the drink could become too tart; too much, and you'll drown out the other flavors. A raspberry syrup can be an interesting alternative, giving a berrier twist.

Emma Rose

Orange Bitters

A couple of dashes of orange bitters give a subtle depth and a hint of citrus complexity. Without it, the cocktail might miss that final layer of flavor sophistication. You could swap for Angostura bitters for a more herbal note but it will change the cocktail's profile.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Scofflaw Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Add 2 oz of rye whiskey, 1 oz of dry vermouth, 0.75 oz of lemon juice, 0.75 oz of grenadine, and 2 dashes of orange bitters.
  3. Shake well until chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Shake the cocktail until the shaker becomes frosty to ensure it's well chilled.
  • Always strain the cocktail to remove any ice shards.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie Board: The robust flavors of rye whiskey and tanginess from the lemon juice complement the savory and fatty flavors of cured meats and a variety of cheeses.

  • Seafood: Try it with oysters or shrimp. The acidity of the cocktail can cut through the richness of seafood, enhancing the overall dining experience.

  • Spicy Food: The sweetness of grenadine can balance out the heat, while the alcohol helps cleanse the palate.


  • Lemon Tart: The citrus notes in both the tart and the cocktail accentuate each other, creating a harmonious dessert pairing.

  • Dark Chocolate: A piece with high cocoa content will pair nicely with the complexity and slight sweetness of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Scofflaw

  • Rye Whiskey: Can be substituted with Bourbon.
  • Dry Vermouth: Can be substituted with White Vermouth.
  • Grenadine: Can be substituted with simple syrup and a dash of pomegranate juice.

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And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Scofflaw

Replace rye whiskey with a smoky Scotch. The profile shifts towards a peatier body, intertwining with the grenadine's sweetness. A cocktail for those who appreciate a smoke-kissed spirit paired with citrusy notes.

Spiced Scofflaw

Add a cinnamon stick to the shaker and a dash of nutmeg on top of the finished cocktail. Warming spices mingle with the rye's spiciness, perfect for a chilly evening.

Herbal Scofflaw

Swap out the orange bitters for a few fresh basil leaves, muddled in the shaker. This earthy twist will please those who enjoy garden-fresh flavors in their cocktails.

In case you forgot basics how to make Scofflaw

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Scofflaw

What kind of glass is best to serve the Scofflaw cocktail in?

Although the Scofflaw can be served in various types of glassware, it is traditionally served in a chilled coupe glass to maintain its temperature and present its garnish elegantly.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Scofflaw cocktail?

Yes! You can substitute the Rye Whiskey with a non-alcoholic whiskey alternative and use non-alcoholic vermouth in place of dry vermouth.

Is there any special time or occasion to enjoy the Scofflaw cocktail?

The Scofflaw is a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed at any time. However, it is particularly popular as a pre-dinner drink due to its balanced sweet and sour taste.

How can I tweak the recipe if I prefer a sweeter or a more sour cocktail?

If you prefer a sweeter taste, increase the proportion of grenadine. If you favor sour flavors, a little more lemon juice should do the trick.

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