The best guess is the rusty nail was invented at the 1937 British Industries Fair and lived on in Britain for a couple more decades as the B.I.F. or a Drambuie and Scotch. It fell out of favor in Britain during the late 50s early 60s but grew in popularity in the USA during that same time. In the United States, it was called a Rusty Nail and one of the go-to drinks of the Rat Pack. They were solidifying it to Americans as a cool drink to order. No one knows why it’s called a rusty nail in the United States. There are a few guesses and fun-sounding stories about how it got its name. Like a bar, tender to lose his spoon and use a rusty nail to stir the drink, or some folks saying it could cure tetanus, but those are silly, not true.
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