So it's Wednesday night. The middle of the work week. You check your watch and see it's almost 6PM--the cocktail hour.
You've got that bottle of rye in your liquor cabinet now, and you've had a couple of glasses of rye with a little water or on the rocks. You think it's good, but you're not sure what the fuss is about.
This, my friends, is a good time to start making rye whiskey cocktails. The first one to learn is perhaps the best-known rye-based cocktail, and also one of the oldest.
Long before New Orleans became well-known for that despicable rum-and fruit-juice based concoction called a Hurricane, the Sazerac was king in the Crescent City.
Born in New Orleans in the 1880s, and elevated to classic status in the early 1900s, the Sazerac is a good first rye cocktail. It's easy to make, and it tastes good. Here's what you'll need:
1 sugar cube, rye whiskey, absinthe (or an absinthe substitute, such as Herbsaint), Peychaud's bitters (other bitters will not work well as a substitute--if you can't find Peychaud's where you live, buy some via mail order here), an old fashioned glass, and a mixing glass or shaker.
To make the drink:
1) drop the sugar cube in the mixing glass, along with a tiny bit of water. Muddle.
2) add 2 oz. of rye to the mixing glass
3) add 2-3 dashes of Peychaud's bitters
4) pour .25 oz of absinthe into the old fashioned glass, rotating the glass to coat the inside. Pour out the excess absinthe.
5) add ice to the mixing glass (chipped, preferably...you can use a high quality blender with an ice crushing blade to achieve the same effect with ice from trays).
6) stir the mixture in the mixing glass or shaker for about 20 seconds.
7) strain off the liquid into the absinthe-coated glass.
8) add a twist of lemon
Our foremothers and forefathers were hale and hearty and you will learn why. Sit back and enjoy some American history.