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Category Archives: Rye Whisky

Rye over Burbon any day, for me.

Rittenhouse 100, lemon juice, orange juice, brandied cherry.


Rittenhouse, Bulleit, Redemption

Redemption: 95% Rye. 92 proof

Bulleit: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley, 90 proof

Rittenhouse: Not sure how about rye. 100 proof

Colorwise, all about the same, golden straw. Bulleit is the smoothest and the roundest. Buttery on the palate. Rittenhouse bites with a notable bitterness. Redemption is rich, complex and strong.

Bulleit feels like a spring/summer sipper on a porch, while Redemption is the one I will hug on a stormy night. I love Rittenhouse for its forcefulness. I will still use it in my Manhatten.

New York Sour


In a 2 drinking adult household, a recipe to use some of the leftover wine from last night is sure very handy. Not to mention this sophisticated drink is gorgeous to look at.

I prefer consuming it well stirred.

From Speakeasy, makes 2

  • 2.5 oz Rittenhouse 100-proof rye
  • 1.1 oz lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz simple syrup
  • 1.1 dry red wine


Shake rye, lemon juice and the simple syrup in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a rock glass. Carefully pour the red wine over so it floats on top.

Inspired by Louie


Spent Thanksgiving in LA and Cathy took us to Bottega Louie an upscale French food hall. Beautiful bar and beautiful cocktail menu.

Can only dream of something like that in the south bay.

Inspired by Bottega Louie’s VIEUX CARRÉ. Makes 2

  • 2oz Redemption rye
  • 1.5oz Punt e Mes
  • Juice of half a lemon (¾ oz)
  • Dashes of Angustura

Whoa, Nellie!

September 17/18, 2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

Well … I didn’t get any Whoa! from this drink. It tasted pretty ordinary, to me. But to be fair, I didn’t have ½ oz of grapefruit juice so I substituted it with lemon juice. That could be a factor.

Based on Whoa, Nellie! from in the Land of Cocktails (Makes 1):

  • 1 ¼ oz Old Overholt, or other rye whisky
  • ¾ oz Gosling’s Black Seal, or other dark rum
  • ¾ oz Grand Marnier
  • 4 dashes of Angostura bitter
  • 1 oz lemon juice (or ½ oz lemon juice and ½ oz grapefruit juice)
  • ¼ oz simple syrup

Dream a little Dream

September 13,  2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

Rye, cardamom, honey, lemon. Wonderfully in harmony.

Sastri told me that in India they favor their meal with Johnny Walker Black and a little soda. I can’t wait to serve him this drink next time we have Indian.

Granted that cardamom honey syrup is a make-ahead ingredient, but it’s not hard to make. It keeps in the refrigerator at least months.

Normally I think garnishes are mainly for looks. But here, the additional flavors imparted from the cardamom pod and the lemon rind are essential.

Based on Dream a little Dream from MIXSHAKESTIR (Makes 2):

  • 3 oz Old Overholt rye whisky
  • ¾ oz cardamom syrup (recipe follows)
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 2 green cardamom pods, and 2 lemon rinds for garnish
  1. Prepare 2 glasses with ice.
  2. Fill a shaker with ice and all the ingredients (except the garnishes). Shake and pour into iced glasses. Use a tooth pick, stab one cardamom and a lemon rind.


Cardamom syrup (makes 1 ¼ C)

  • 1 cup honey
  • ¾ c water
  • 12 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed


Over medium heat, boil water with honey until just under the boiling point. Remove from heat and stir in the cardamom pods. Let it sit at room temperature for 48 hours. Strain into a glass jar and refrigerate.


September 4,5  2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

Arguably the most famous drink out of New Orleans. As far as venerability goes, Sazerac stands tall. Not only it consists of just four ingredients, i.e. little room to hide, one of them is anise liqueur. There is a very thin line between utterly undrinkable to sublime.

I have to confess that I think the recipe from MIXSHAKESTIR is awful, way too sweet and Pernod chokeholds the entire drink. Even with modifications, I can not take more than 3 sips.

However, the write-up from In the Land of Cocktails makes great sense and moves me to give Sazerac another go.

And 3rd time is indeed the charm.

The contributing factor is switching from Pernod to Herbsaint which is less intense and less sweet. The modest amount, ½ tsp, of simple syrup, also helps.

While I was at it, I also made what’s in Imbibe!, which prefers Rittenhouse Bonded rye over Old Overholt, and makes it very clear that Peychaud’s bitter should be used. Not Angostura and not a combination of both as in In the Land of Cocktails.

As it turns out, they are quite different and I love them both. I love how well balanced the former is and the first word that comes to mind is ‘ethereal’. For the latter, I love the masculinity of Rottenhouse Bonded rye, and the counterbalance from the slightly more pronounced lemon flavor. The only thing is, too sweet. Old recipes tend to be sweet. ‘Dry’ is a modern sentiment.

In both, Herbsaint is rightfully there, but only as a supporting cast.

Peychaud and Angostura are very different if you take them just by themselves. I will need to experiment more to really tell the difference between the 2 bitters after everything else is mixed in as in Sazerac.

Slightly modified version of Sazerac from In the Land of Cocktails (Makes 1):

  • 1 tbsp of Herbsaint to coat the glass
  • 1.5 oz rye whisky such as Old Overholt or Rittenhouse
  • ½ tsp simple syrup
  • 5 dashes of peychaud’s bitter
  • 2 dashes of angostura bitter
  • 2 strip of lemon peels


  1. Fill an rock glass with ice and set aside to chill.
  2. Before serving, pour out the ice and coat the inside with Herbsaint. Pour out the excess.
  3. Shake ice, 1 strip of lemon peel, Old Overholt, both bitters in a shaker and pour into the Herbsaint-coated glass.
  4. Rob the edge of the glass with the remaining lemon peel and drop it in. Serve immediately.