The Best Bottled Cocktails
The easiest (and most portable) way to enjoy a classic drink.
Everything you need to know about bourbon's cooler cousin.
Way back in the day, rye whiskey was the spirit of choice for American men. George Washington distilled it at Mount Vernon and by the time of his death in 1799, he was producing 11,000 gallons a year. Then it all but disappeared after Prohibition. Bourbon became the brown liquor most likely to be found clinking in your rocks glass. But they're both whiskey, so what's the difference? A rye whiskey must contain a "mash bill" that is at least 51 percent rye (bourbon's mash is more corn-based) and aged in charred new oak barrels. The rye grain, once considered a weed, adds a certain spiciness, just like in bread. The resulting liquor is typically bolder and more potent than bourbon, which may be why bartenders are pouring more and more of it these days. The depth and character makes rye an ideal match for classic cocktails or, of course, drinking neat. Here are a few drinks to consider along with bottles worth adding to your home bar for your own rye renaissance.
Rye is the perfect bracing pairing for the distinct herbal flavorings of sweet vermouth and the bite of Angostura bitters.
Known as one of the world's oldest cocktails, this Absinthe-tinged tipple was basically an elixir concocted by a New Orleans pharmacist.
Still crafted by hand in small batches, this Prohibition-era recipe is surprisingly smooth. The taste is delightfully oaky with a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon.
Made with a mash bill of 51 percent rye (dubbed "barely legal"), this sweeter style is more drinkable than bottles made almost entirely from pure rye, which tend to be extremely spicy.
Flatiron Wine & Spirits
This is actually a bold and spicy mix of two rye whiskeys (one 2-year-old and one 16-year-old) with kicks of cinnamon and clove, and a soft underbelly of salted caramel.
Mel & Rose
The namesake of the Sazerac cocktail, this easy-drinking rye has the slight touch of cherry sweetness (not unlike a bourbon) mixed with the smoky spice of charred wood.
The Wine Club