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What can you make with rye besides manhattans? Any recommendations for type of rye?

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  1. old fasioneds. but don't make them like most bartenders do. muddle 1/2 orange slice, equal parts water and sugar(sugear disolves better in water- you could also just use simple syrup), add 2 oz wiskey, and a couple dashes of bitters. i personally like orange bitters. as far as brands go, old rip van winkle is the one that is usally thrown about, and it's really good, but.... I was at the liquor store last week, and i wanted to pick up some rye. my wife didn't want to spend a lot of money, so that left out all of what i saw. after 5 mins of studying the shelves, i found in the corner a $17 a bottle brand called old overhalt. took it home, tried it, and found it to be superb. I was, needless to say, plesantly suprised. I'd recoment that- it's a great buy! other than that... ryes are, nowadays, kind of a specalty thing. so I think that now, when they do them, they do them right. so i would tend to say, any rye you go with will probably be at lease decent. glad to find another rye lover!

    10 Replies
    1. re: ashwood

      Would you recommend any specific brand of bitters?

      1. re: Tatum

        Orange bitters are notoriously difficult to find, so the best brand is the one that you can get your hands on.

        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

          Wow did I just found that out. Had to go to 5 places before I found orange bitters (Collins Bitters). Also got the Old Overholt mentioned in this thread (it was $19 in San Rafael) to use, as I don't want to use the 18-year old Sazerac. Ok, I've got everything and going to give these a try.....will report back.

          1. re: Tatum

            At least you can *get* the 18 yr. Sazerac. No dice in ATL, unless you get one of the 4 bottles it seems make it into the state a couple of times per year. I'm looking into having a buddy bring some back from the SF Bay area in a couple weeks. It's been 3 years, but it was amazing the first time I got a bottle (in MD).

            I picked up the Regan's bitters off the Buffalo Trace site. It was reasonable, all told.

          2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

            On that topic - where can I get orange bitters in SF or East Bay? Does anyone know?

            1. re: poligraf

              Your best bet is to go to one of the more upscale wine and spirits shops in the area.

              1. re: poligraf

                You could e-mail Fee Brothers and ask. That's how I found a bottle in ATL.


                1. re: ted

                  Yes, we have Fee Bros. Lemon, Orange and Mint bitters. Really expands those bar possibilities. We got them all at Plumpjack, which is, as Atomica points out, on 24th in Noe Valley.

                2. re: poligraf

                  I've seen orange bitters at Plumpjack on 24th (Noe Valley).

                  1. re: poligraf

                    There's a wide selection of Fee Brothers' bitters at Ledger's Liquors on University Avenue in Berkeley. In fact, it was their cryptic sign reading "Looking for the Bitter Brothers Fee?" that first drew me into the shop a few years ago. This place just seems to have everything.

            2. Presbyterians. Tall glass, healthy shot of Rye, fill to near the top with Soda and top with a shot of Ginger Ale. I also like a little slice of lime in it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: fatbob

                I think a Prebyterian, commonly known as a Press, is made with Seven-Up instead of ginger ale.

              2. I second the Old Overholt as good and cheap. Like it better than the Wild Turkey Rye. I like the younger Sazerac, but it has some odd grassy notes that I'm not that fond of. Basil Hayden's has a good bit of spiciness that I assume is from rye, but it's at a higher price point.

                I think a recent Gary Regan article in Malt Advocate came to the conclusion that so few ryes survived Prohibition and continue to be made that they're all good and good values.

                Now what I need help with is identifying whiskeys that have a good rye component but aren't labeled as rye.

                1. I also prefer Old Overholt. Sadly, few bars in the NYC area stock rye. I noticed a while ago that older restaurants that made excellent Manhattans usually used Seagram's 7. I read somewhere online (Seagram's site maybe?) that Seagram's 7 contains a large amount of rye. So that's now my basic call liquor in a Manhattan.

                  1. So my bottle of Old Overholt for $10.99 was the bargain of the month...orders, anyone?

                    I did ask for rye at a local watering hole and the bartender said Canadian Club and something else was a rye. I didn't think they was and changed my order to Maker's Mark for my manhattan. Canadian Club???

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Patricia

                      This makes sense. I believe "Canadian" whisky is rye. Can anyone confirm my failing memory?

                      1. re: Alcachofa

                        Most "Rye" whisky in Canada is labelled Canadian Whisky now because the Rye content isn't high enough (not certain what percentage of Rye in the "mash/mix" makes it enough). Alberta Springs still makes a Rye whisky which is my favourite non specialty Rye. I've never tried an American Rye, I'll have to next time in the States. Canadian Club is labelled Canadian Whisky.

                        1. re: GGS

                          Can anyone explain the difference between Alberta Springs 10 yr. old rye, and the American ryes?
                          I understand Alberta Springs is owned by Beam but does not have an export license. It is a fine product at a good price ($21).
                          The distillery was built beside the rye fields near Calgary, and the same wizened distillers have been making this nectar for decades.

                        2. re: Alcachofa

                          Canadian Club is a blended whiskey that could contain some rye, but could also contain corn, barley and neutral spirits. For something to be called Rye Whiskey, it must contain at least 51% Rye. Now that the weather is turning cooler, this is a reminder to get a bottle of Old Overholt to make my Manhattan's

                      2. Try this - tastes like a red popsicle:

                        I part rye
                        1 part peach schnapps
                        2 parts cranberry juice

                        Shake with plenty of ice. Yummy!

                        Here in Canada you can buy 18 year-old Wisers that is simply exquisite. Not all that expensive when compared to scotch.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Greg B

                          Are you serious? If so, why rye? And are you suggesting mixing anything that's 18 years old with cranberry juice and peach schnapps?

                          1. re: olfashiond

                            Not sure what you are asking me about re. being serious. If it's the drink recipe, all I can tell you is that rye is what the guidebook says to use and it works. If you are asking whether I am suggesting using Wiser's 18 in that recipe, the answer is of course not. We were talking about ryes people prefer which is why I mentioned it. Tell me what sparked your message please.

                          2. re: Greg B

                            in boston we make that with Crown Royal and call it a Royal Flush- and we shoot it. They'll level you and they taste pretty good.

                          3. You can make a Sazerac, a true classic American cocktail:

                            Pour about 1/4 teaspoon Herbsaint (or Pernod or whatever absinthe substitute you can get your hands on) into an old-fashioned glass, swirl to coat, and toss out the excess. In a mixing glass, combine 4-5 ice cubes, 2 ounces rye whiskey, 3-4 dashes Peychaud's bitters, and 1 teaspoon simple syrup. Stir well, and strain into the Herbsaint coated glass. Twist a piece of lemon peel over the glass and rub the rim with the peel. Traditionalists will toss the lemon peel, I drop it in the drink. Enjoy.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                              Agreed! Hersaint is the classic -- Pernod (or Ricard) will do in a pinch, but it doesn't taste the same. Whatever you do, don't you Angastoura bitters -- it has to be Peychaud's!

                            2. or you can get some real absinthe, if you're lucky enough to get it through customs....

                              1. I prefer to drink my ryes as I would drink any other whiskey or whisky, with nothing but a little water (although I usually take the water in the form of a few ice cubes). Last night, I ordered a fine scotch with three little bar ice cubes. If I were ordering rye, my favorite would be a Van Winkle Rye (probably a Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve), then I would probably order it that same way. For purists, neat or a small drop of cold water would be in order. A good rye is a fine whiskey and should be treated as one.

                                If you want to mix stuff up with peach schapps and cranberry juice, leave the Van Winkle alone. It's too good for that. I see nothing else one should do with Old Potrero, which jsut is not to my liking. Of course, it is too expensive to mix with too.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Captain

                                  My favorite bartender in the world (Murray Stenson at Zig Zag in Seattle) turned me on to the Van Winkle rye, but I've found it extremely difficult to find. He also expressed an extreme dislike of the Old Potrero rye ("tastes like gasoline"), and I think his taste is impeccable in the world of spirits.

                                  Old Overholt is a staple in our liquor cabinet. We affectionally call it "Old Overshoe" and I have friends who call it "Old Undershirt."

                                  1. re: Atomica

                                    I would agree with the Portrero rye comment but the portrero non -rye version (sorry, it's early and words not flow well to this brain sin coffee) is so unbelievably good at its price point.

                                    1. re: Atomica

                                      We go by Bugs Bunny who calls it "Old Overcoat".

                                    2. re: Captain

                                      I agree! I was at the Trace last year and they had signed bottles of 20 YO Pappy van Wynkle.

                                    3. Sazeracs are great, as someone pointed out, and highly underrated as a a cocktail.

                                      Another good rye-based drink born in New Orleans is the Vieux Carre:

                                      .75 oz rye
                                      .75 oz brandy
                                      .75 oz sweet vermouth
                                      .125 oz Benedictine
                                      dash Peychaud's bitters
                                      dash Angostura bitters

                                      Just combine and build over ice.

                                      You can get Peychaud's at LaNell's in Red Hook, Brooklyn, if you live in New York.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: rosjr

                                        The Vieux Carre looks good and seems like a variation on Cocktail a la Louisiane, one of my favorites.

                                      2. I like a shot of Old Overholt with half-a-bottle of Stewarts Ginger Beer, on ice.

                                        1. I'm a long time Rye lover because it makes great Manhattans, but (don't let anyone know you do this) it tastes great mixed with eggnog! Go figure. Van Winkle 13 year is my personal favorite. Also, I recently came back from London with a bottle of Hapsburg Absenthe and after reading the posts will try a Sazerac, which I've never tasted.

                                          1. I friend gave me a bottle of Templeton Rye the other day, anyone tried it? have not opend it yet...

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: anejospirit

                                              I don't know if you've tasted your bottle of Templeton Rye but if not let me tell it is very smooth. We were lucky enought to have a friend from Templeton bring us a bottle. I never liked rye but after tasting the Templeton Rye, I know now why the call it " The Good Stuff ". I this rye isn't even avaible outside of Iowa and won't be until next year. They had planned to launch it last year but sold out before the launch date.

                                              1. re: anejospirit

                                                I can second that. The stuff is tremendous, makes great Manhattans and Old Fashioned(s), and is quite good in a press... It's available to ship online from Binny's (www.binnys.com), though I think some states prohibit shipping of liquor.

                                              2. Second the vote for the Sazerac (must have Peychaud's bitters)

                                                1. I just had my first Sazerac and it was very good. We were fascinated how minor adjustments in the amount of simple syrup really brought out the flavor of the Absenthe and Peychaud.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: bph2

                                                    If you care to try, I prefer using one sugar cube rather than the simple syrup. Takes a bit longer to muddle, but I like the lack of liquid.

                                                    1. re: ccbweb

                                                      there are several online houses that will ship real Absinthe to the U.S., so you can make a real sazerac(which I agree with ccbweb, is best made with a sugar cube, like an old fashioned) I would recommend Vert d'Absinthe, which has an assortment of old recipe French and Swiss absinthe.

                                                  2. Side notes:

                                                    If you can find it, buy Rittenhouse Bottled In Bond rye, distilled by Heaven Hill. It'll be under $20 (perhaps under $18, depending on where you are) -- one of the bargains in all whisk(e)ydom.

                                                    It is illegal to sell absinthe in the U.S., but no longer is it illegal to possess or drink it here. So, getting it through customs should not be a problem.