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Drambuie is a liqueur made from Scotch Whisky and heather honey. The secret formula has been in the Mackinnon family since 1745, when it was given to a Mackinnon by Prince Charles Edward (or his French attendant) as a reward for services rendered.

I received the following email on 2/11/04 with some additional information.

The original recipe was given in the late 19th century by Capt. MacKinnon to James Ross..... Ross ran the Broadford Hotel in the Isle of Skye, he developed and improved the recipe, initially for his friends locally. It was one of these friends who coined the name, meaning "the drink that satisfies". Ross then sold it further afield even to France and the USA. It was Ross who patented it, in London.

     Tragically he died young, and to pay for their children's education, his widow was obliged to sell the recipe, by coincidence to a different MacKinnon family, in the early 20th century. Since then they have brilliantly marketed it even more widely, making it the well-known liqueur it is today.

James Ross was my great-great uncle.
John H. Birkett.




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