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Posts Tagged ‘rye whiskey’

*As originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

LUPEC ladies love our whiskey. And our whisky. (No, it’s not a typo: the spelling tells reflects the nationality of the spirit.) And we know, with its myriad rules nuances, the category can be confusing for the cocktail neophyte. In light of this, we offer you a whisk(e)y primer in several parts, turning our attention this week to rye.

Whiskey, in broad strokes, is grain spirit aged long enough in oak to take on characteristics of the barrel. Rye whiskey takes its name from main ingredient, rye, which by law must compose 51% of the grain in the mashbill. Rye is aged in charred, new American oak barrels like its corn-based cousins, bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, but has a lighter, and more peppery character. When considering the basic differences, think bread; as DrinkBoy.com founder Robert Hess says, “I’d never have a Rueben sandwich on cornbread.”

Rye whiskey was the favored spirit of colonial America, and was first made stateside by Scots-Irish immigrants who imported the grain. Despite the harsh Northeastern climate, hardy rye flourished, making it a perfect go-to ingredient for early American hooch.

Prohibition took a nasty toll on the American whiskey industry, and rye in particular had a tough time bouncing back. Even mainstream brands were difficult to find until recently. As cocktail nerds learned that classics like the Manhattan were originally prepared with rye, the spirit has surged back to in popularity. Brands like Old Overholt, Jim Beam and Sazerac are more common on back bars, and new interpretations of the category, like (ri)1 have even arrived, marketed as “ultra premium” brands positioned to win over vodka drinkers.

Rye also happens to be the base spirit for many New Orleans classics, which we are copiously imbibing at Tales of the Cocktail at present. Should you like to do the same, try one of these.

COCKTAIL A LA LOUISIANE

.75 oz. rye whiskey
.75 oz. Benedictine
.75 oz. sweet vermouth
3 dashes Herbsaint
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Stir with cracked ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

CIN CIN!

 

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in The Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

In a few short days, HRH Prince William will marry Kate Middleton, making royal history as can only be done once a generation. What better way to toast this occasion than with a cocktail with a royal pedigree of its own? This Friday, the ladies of LUPEC will be sipping The Prince of Wales’s Cocktail.

The current Prince of Wales is Charles, the longest serving heir apparent in history (he was only nine when he became as such). Prince Albert Edward was once in Prince Charles’ shoes, during which time his Queen Mum Victoria pretty much excluded him from political activity. With all that free time on his hands Edward did “what anybody else would have,” writes David Wondrich in Imbibe: “He got grumpy and he got loose. Mistresses and mischief ensued.”

Prince Albert Edward was something of a playboy, to be sure, and came to exemplify the leisured elite in his day. His accession to the throne ushered in the Edwardian era, the exact opposite of the buttoned up Victorian period: a time of increased social mobility, loosened bodices for women, and scientific and technological innovation. Leisure sports became all the rage with the upper classes, and let’s not forget that ultimate game-changer—the automobile.

In his many years as Prince of Wales, Albert Edward had many occasions to imbibe. We’re thrilled he came up with this, his namesake take on the newly evolving genre of libation: The Cocktail.

The Prince of Wales Cocktail
Adapted from Imbibe! By David Wondrich

1.5 oz rye whiskey
Crushed ice
A small square of pineapple
Dash Angostura bitters
Lemon peel
.25 tsp maraschino
1 oz Champagne
1 tsp sugar

Put the sugar in the bottom of a mixing glass with bitters and .5 tsp water. Stir to dissolve. Add rye, maraschino, and pineapple chunk, fill 2/3 with cracked ice, and shake brutally to crush pineapple. “Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add the cold Champagne, and deploy the twist. And smile.”

CIN-CIN!

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