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.
- What’s your favorite rye whiskey?