10 Rye Whiskey Cocktails – How to Drink Rye Whiskey

Adella Miesner

Rafael EliasGetty Images Once the dusty bottle forgotten at the back of the cabinet, rye whiskey is enjoying a resurgence nowadays. Made from rye grain in a similar style to bourbon, rye brings a spiciness that’s one part pepper, one part baking spices, and 100% perfect for cool weather cocktails. […]

old fashioned cocktail

Rafael EliasGetty Images

Once the dusty bottle forgotten at the back of the cabinet, rye whiskey is enjoying a resurgence nowadays. Made from rye grain in a similar style to bourbon, rye brings a spiciness that’s one part pepper, one part baking spices, and 100% perfect for cool weather cocktails. From classics like the Manhattan or sazerac to more modern riffs, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this mixing-friendly spirit. Need some inspiration? Here are our favorite ways to shake things up with rye.

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Sazerac

Ingredients

2 oz rye whiskey
.5 oz simple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Absinthe

Instructions

Rinse a chilled glass with absinthe and discard the absinthe. Stir the other ingredients in a mixing glass, strain into the chilled glass, and garnish.

More: Rye Whiskies to Try

Figs & Fernet

Ingredients

1.5 oz rye whiskey
1 oz simple syrup
.25 oz orgeat
.75 oz lemon juice
.5 oz Fernet
Half of a fresh fig

Instructions

Shake and double strain over crushed ice. Garnish with a half fig and a dehydrated lemon.

By Saul Ranella of Hog Island Oyster Co.

Sagamore Cider

Ingredients

4 oz Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey
8 oz apple cider
1 oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
2-4 cinnamon sticks

Instructions

Add apple cider, lime juice, simple syrup, and cinnamon stick to a small pot. Bring to a gentle boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add whiskey and stir to mix. Strain into your favorite mugs. Garnish with apple slices and a dash of cinnamon.

A Place in the Sun

Ingredients

1 oz fresh lemon
1 oz fresh orange juice
2 oz Michter’s Rye
Red wine cordial*

Instructions

Shake, strain into rocks glass with fresh ice, gently layer in red wine cordial, which, because it’s denser, will layer on the bottom of the glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

*Red wine cordial: In a saucepan over medium heat, simmer a bottle of Shiraz or other bright, juicy red wine with 1 cup orange juice, 2 cinnamon sticks, .5 cup sweet vermouth, .5 cup pomegranate grenadine, and .25 cup smoked maple syrup. Alternatively substitute Martini & Rosso Rubino, Madeira, or a Carcavelos for cordial.

By Nicky Beyries from Foreign Cinema in San Francisco

Celebrated Sagamore

Ingredients

1.5 oz Sagamore rye whiskey
3 oz sparkling wine
.5 oz lime juice
.75 spiced cranberry syrup*

Instructions

Add whiskey, lime juice, and spiced cranberry syrup to a champagne flute. Swirl the glass to mix. Tilt glass and gently pour in sparkling wine. Garnish with lime and cranberry.

*Spiced Cranberry Syrup: Mix equal parts water, sugar, and fresh cranberries in a pot. For every one cup cranberries, add one cinnamon stick and one rosemary sprig. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Chill overnight, and strain.

Rye Old Fashioned

Ingredients

2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 sugar cube or 1 tsp sugar
Orange twist garnish

Instructions

Put sugar in glass. Cover it with dashes of bitters. Add whiskey and stir until sugar dissolves. Add ice, stir again, and serve. If the barman starts shaking the ingredients or muddling fruit, have your next round at another bar.

More: New Takes on the Old Fashioned Drink

Brown Derby

Ingredients

.25 oz honey syrup or simple syrup
1 oz fresh lemon juice
.75 oz Combier Pamplemousse Rose Cordial
1.5 oz rye

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a mixing set. Add ice, shake, and strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass. Hang a quarter grapefruit slice on rim.

*You can substitute the cordial for .25 oz grapefruit juice mixed with .5 oz simple syrup.

From Vaucluse in New York City

Campfire Sling

Ingredients

2 oz rye whiskey
.25 oz pure maple syrup (grade A Amber is recommended. For a richer version try grade B)
3 dashes chocolate bitters
Orange twist for garnish

Instructions

Add all ingredients to an old fashioned glass with a large piece of ice. Stir thoroughly. Release the oils from the orange zest over the surface of the drink and serve.

From Water Grill in Southern California

Carthusian Sazerac

Ingredients

2.5 oz rye whiskey
.25 oz green Chartreuse
.5 oz simple syrup
Absinthe rinse
2 dashes lemon bitters
Lemon twist

Instructions

Add a splash of absinthe into a coupe glass and swirl to lightly coat the inside of the glass. Discard absinthe. In a mixing glass, stir rye, Chartreuse, and syrup over ice. Strain into the coupe glass, top with lemon bitters, and garnish with lemon twist.

From Spice Kitchen and Bar in Cleveland.

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