4 Classic Rye Whiskey Mixed Drinks Recipes
And them good ol' boys were drinking whiskey and rye...
Singing, "This'll be the day that I die...
This'll be the day that I die..."
Like these drinks?
Immortalized in the classic song "American Pie" by singer-songwriter Don McLean, rye whiskey is still generally unknown to much of the USA's population. In Canada, "rye" is just another name for whiskey, but here in the States, rye whiskey is defined by its distillation: at least 51% rye. It was popular primarily in the northeastern states prior to Prohibition, but largely disappeared afterward... until now.It's enjoying a big comeback, and to help you be a part of the revolution, here are 5 delicious classic rye whiskey drink recipes. Enjoy!
Rye And Ginger Recipe
This rye cocktail was so popular during Prohibition that ginger ale sales nearly doubled. It is now a staple in Canada and New York. Easy to make and easy on the tastebuds, this is a great place to start developing your appreciation for this unique spirit.
- 2 oz rye whiskey
- 4-6 oz ginger ale
Pour whiskey into a tumbler or old-fashioned cocktail glass. Top with ginger ale, and add ice last.
This drink (sometimes misspelled "Sazarac") was invented in the late 19th century. It was originally made with cognac until an epidemic ruined France's wine grape crops, and rye was the choice alternative. It also features absinthe, but used Herbsaint as a substitute during the time that absinthe was illegal in the United States. Today, the Sazerac is the official cocktail of New Orleans, but you can enjoy it any time, any place.
- 2 oz rye whiskey
- 3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
- 1 sugar cube (or 1 tsp simple syrup)
- splash of absinthe (or Herbsaint)
- lemon peel
Fill one old fashioned glass with ice and cold water to chill. In another glass, muddle sugar cube (or simple syrup, if that's what you have on hand) and bitters. Add rye and stir. Empty the chilled glass of water and ice, and pour in your splash of absinthe. Turn the glass to coat and discard the excess. Add the rye mixture, then twist a strip of lemon peel over the glass and rub the rim. You can either add the twist to your cocktail, or discard it, as you see fit.
This cocktail is commonly made with bourbon today, but if you want to enjoy it in all its historical glory, you need to try a rye whiskey Manhattan. Once again, Prohibition changed the traditional makeup of a drink, based on availability. You'll find a rye Manhattan more spicy and flavorful than its bourbon counterpart. But sip slowly... these things can be deadly!
- 3 oz rye whiskey
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- brandied or candied cherry
Add whiskey, vermouth, and bitters to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until a slow 5-count past the moment that the outside of the shaker becomes cold to the touch. Pour into a martini glass, straight up.
Some people prefer their Manhattans stirred, not shaken. In this case, mix all ingredients, then serve in a tumbler or old-fashioned glass, on the rocks.
There are also some who prefer to coat the glass with vermouth and pour out the excess (as with the absinthe in the Sazerac), rather than mix all the ingredients together.
The name for this drink came, ironically, from a 1920s term for someone who drank alcohol, scoffing at the Prohibition law. While it was originally made with grenadine, not green Chartreuse, this was probably because of the low quality whiskey bartenders were working with. To make bigger profits, bootleggers diluted whiskey with everything from iodine to embalming fluid, so the sweeter addition of grenadine was probably necessary to mask the toxic taste. Fortunately, today we have high-quality rye to work with, so Chartreuse works just fine.
- 1 oz rye whiskey
- 1 oz dry vermouth
- 3/4 oz green Chartreuse (or grenadine, if you like something sweeter)
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Stir all ingredients in a tall glass or cocktail shaker with ice, and strain into a martini glass. Simple and delicious!