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Issue 125 - Rye's In Trend

Whisky Magazine Issue 125
January 2015

 

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Rye's In Trend

The comeback of the original American whiskey

Throughout my career behind the stick, rye has been by far the grandest of discoveries I have come across. Yet, less than ten years ago, ordering a Rye Manhattan would get you a flat Canadian Club tipple for one simple reason: no one had any.

Anciently sleek and spicy, rye was the weapon of choice during the birth of American cocktail history, mentioned in all the pioneering books of old. As soon as Prohibition hit the USA, Rye was brought to its knees, distilleries closed and poor substitutes from Canada flooded the illegal market. Upon repeal in 1933, bourbon rose to power and Scotch had a boom of popularity sending rye straight to the pages of history. It never recovered from the fatal blow the teetotallers imposed on America, until recently.

Over the past couple years, I have sampled a dozen new rye whiskeys, saw producers ramp up their production to match demand and micro distilleries producing ground breaking rye products. To honour this resurgence, I present three great pre-Prohibition and Prohibition cocktails which should never be forgotten.

‘The Remember the Maine,' created by Charles H. Baker in remembrance of the 1898 USS Maine sudden explosion in the harbour of Cuba a few months short of the Spanish-American war. This mostly forgotten cocktail is a libation to indulge in at any time of the day. The spicy and robust flavours of Rittenhouse 100 balanced by Antica Formula, a touch of Cherry Heering and finished with Angostura bitters with a lightly Absinthe ...

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