A new (classic) drink for a new year.
This one was revived in the early 2000s by Ted Haigh in his famous Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails (2004), now newly revised and reissued (2009). Originally featured in Patrick Duffy's The Official Mixer's Manual (1934), the drink takes advantage of a dry, tart citrus taste and the rich sweetness of a fruit-based syrup, all balanced by the spicy rye. It's origins are otherwise murky, but one can guess it emerged either toward the end of Prohibition or with the first bloom of joy that met Prohibition's repeal.
The other crucial thing about this drink is its simplicity. Rye, something dry (grapefruit juice), and something sweet (grenadine, like the original--or, even better, a homemade or store-bought raspberry syrup). Simple proportions, simple ingredients. No sugared rims, no obscure ingredients, no bartender contortions. And yet one taste suggests real complexity. In many ways, this drink embodies the genius of American cocktail culture. A little really does add up to a lot.
When one considers the ingredients--rye, grapefruit juice, and grenadine (or raspberry syrup), it seems too much. Too sweet. Too juvenile. Not patriotic. But instead, it's clean, fresh, and bracing--just like the January air here in the Upper Midwest. Because it's winter time, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of fresh grapefruit juice here. You won't be sorry.
2 0z rye whiskey (Old Overholt or other 80-proof rye preferred)
1 oz grapefruit juice (fresh-squeezed preferred, store bought not-from-concentrate works fine)
2 dashes of grenadine or, 1.5 teaspoons of raspberry syrup (try Smuckers if you're fresh out of raspberries and sugar)
Mix ingredients in a shaker, add ice, shake, strain into small martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist (though this is completely optional with this drink).
Even people who don't care for grapefruit juice will like this one.