Rhubarb and Rye

Rhubarb and Rye

Every other Wednesday, I have been creating a 7 or so course tasting menu for friends. They are local foodies, have distinguished palates, and speak their mind whether they are asked or not. It was the perfect opportunity to try out a new rye whiskey on them. My approach was by no means scientific, but it sure was evil. And the results were quite interesting.

I poured everyone small glasses of Old Overholt and passed them around. Everyone was told they were sipping a new rye whiskey, (ri)1. They loved it. “Smooth,” “very sippable,” “great for cocktails,” were common remarks. Then I switched it up and poured them glasses of (ri)1 and told them it was Old Overholt, a good stand-by, much cheaper, and great for mixing. The general thought was that it wasn’t assertive enough for a rye whiskey and didn’t have the punch they were looking for.

Neither, by any means, was bad, and the test was obviously unscientific, but I tend to agree with the results. I can definitely see (ri)1 as being a mellow introduction into the world of rye whiskey for people who are a little shy of a full-fledged rye like Rittenhouse. And more importantly, it’s great to see new rye whiskeys being produced. It’s for the betterment of humanity, surely.

I spent some time with it in the bar and came up with the following drink, which works well with the character of (ri)1.

Rhubarb and Rye

  • 2oz (ri)1 rye whiskey
  • 1/2oz Apfelkorn
  • 1/2oz cider syrup (equal parts sugar dissolved in fresh apple cider)
  • 2t allspice dram
  • 3 dashes rhubarb bitters
  • apple slice and cloves, for garnish

Shake with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or festive fall mug. Jam cloves into an apple wedge in a fun pattern and stick it on the rim or float in the cocktail.

Rick from Kaiser Penguin

The aroma is all rhubarb and rye. Cider syrup and rye whiskey is a combination not unlike falling leaves, a crisp duck, or being cozy by the fire. The Apfelkorn gives it that extra touch of apple and the allspice dram throws a whole load of Thanksgiving into the drink.

KP Question

  • What’s your favorite rye whiskey?

9 Responses to “Rhubarb and Rye”

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9 Comments to “ Rhubarb and Rye”
  1. What are your feelings on Old Potrero? I haven’t sprung for a bottle yet.

  2. Jay HepburnNo Gravatar says:

    Beautiful photo and garnish Rick! How did you achieve that background?

    My favourite rye is LeNell’s Red Hook, followed closely by Black Maple Hill 21 and the Thomas H. Handy. Sadly they are all expensive, and/or difficult to get hold of. Especially so here in the UK! For general mixing though I don’t think you can really go wrong with Rittenhouse Bonded.

  3. TiareNo Gravatar says:

    Awesome photo and awesome garnish!

    The only rye we can get here is Wild Turkey and it has to be special ordered.

  4. RowenNo Gravatar says:

    My housemate and I like Sazerac in many things, but prefer Russell’s for Manhattans.

  5. PaulNo Gravatar says:

    Rhesus – Old Potrero is a lovely, well-crafted whiskey, but in style and flavor it’s closer to a single malt (well, I guess it IS a single malt) than a straight rye whiskey. That 100 percent rye mashbill makes for an interesting character, but if you’re looking for a premium rye to mix your Manhattans and Sazeracs (or Rhubarbs and Rye) with, Old Potrero doesn’t really have the flavor profile that fits the bill.

  6. Peter KarnowskiNo Gravatar says:

    Only within the last four months or so have I been introduced to the rye world. I am currently stocking Michter’s and Sazerac. I will soon be getting the Sazerac 18yr and the (ri)1 upon which I will do a tasting of all four. Haave you had the Pappy Van Winkle rye??

  7. So I picked up a bottle of Old Overholt today, and my roommate and I administered blind taste tests to each other (identical glasses with stickers on the bottom so we couldn’t see which we were tasting when we finished). Old Overholt won on both counts!

    Right away, I thought I knew which was the Sazerac, because I figured it would have less burn and more complexity, but it turns out thats not the case.

  8. RickNo Gravatar says:

    John, Wow. It won over Sazerac? That’s surprising. Great tasting!

  9. napplegateNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve tried the (ri)1 on quite a few occasions having a bottle of it at my disposal behind the bar and for some reason I absolutely loath the product. I feel it has a really ‘funky’ finish and a bit too much heat for my liking. I’m a much greater fan of say pappy van winkle, black maple hill or even the sazerac 6 for that matter.

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Kaiser Penguin is a cocktail blog featuring original recipes, homemade ingredients, classic cocktails, and tiki drinks.

Why on Earth did you name your blog “Kaiser Penguin?”

It is a well-known fact that penguins are members of high society and enjoy fine cocktails. Our very own kaiser penguin would like me to mention that he also enjoys various treats from the sea.