This week’s offering is a classic cocktail AND a historical reference to one of the causes of the Spanish-American war in 1898.
This cocktail is rated Rockin’: Likely includes ingredients you haven’t used and/or techniques you haven’t tried
Here’s what you’ll need to create this rye-based cocktail.
Let’s examine these ingredients in detail. First, rye. Rye is a grain-based spirit that is distilled from at least 51 percent rye (yeah, the rye of rye bread). Compare this to bourbon, which must be distilled from at least 51% corn. Any cocktail that calls for bourbon can be made with rye, and vice versa. The simplest way to describe the different in taste between rye and bourbon is that rye tends to be a bit “spicier” than bourbon. An oversimplification? Yes, because all ryes are different and all bourbons are different. I recommend trying a few different ryes and bourbons and tasting the difference for yourself. Think NIPS! Here are the ryes I have in my home bar right now:
For most cocktails with several ingredients, I use Old Overholt or Pikesville because they’re reasonably priced. For this cocktail, I use Old Overholt.
Next, sweet vermouth. If you make cocktails at home, you probably have a bottle.
Third, Cherry Heering. I bought this on a whim about a year ago, and I found this cocktail when I was searching for a use for it other than a Singapore Sling.
Finally, Pernod. The recipe calls for absinthe or an absinthe substitute, and Pernod is an absinthe substitute. Like anise? You should get a bottle of Pernod! It’s a great aperitif over ice with a little water added. Don’t like anise? You won’t like Pernod plain, but there are a lot of cocktails that call for small amounts of absinthe/absinthe substitute, so it’s still worth getting a bottle. Of course, if you have absinthe or another absinthe substitute, use that in place of the Pernod.
Okay, here we go!
Before you start mixing your cocktail, chill the glass in which you will serve it. The easiest way to do this (unless you have room in your fridge/freezer to store a few cocktail glasses) is to fill the glass with ice cubes and water. Let it sit while you make the drink and then, right before you strain the drink into the glass, dump out the ice and water.
Combine 2 oz of rye, .75 oz of sweet vermouth, .5 oz of Cherry Heering, and a bar spoon/teaspoon of Pernod in a cocktail shaker. Note: Use a jigger. Proportions are important in cocktails like this, which include several ingredients. For example, too much Cherry Heering will give you a sweet, syrupy result.
Add a few ice cubes and stir for about a minute. Why stir rather than shake? The general rule is that cocktails that are all alcohol (no juices or other ingredients) don’t need to be shaken to combine the ingredients. Shaking them will dilute the alcohol. Shake cocktails that are a mix of alcohol and ingredients like grenadine, juices, egg white, and so on. There are two reasons to stir or shake cocktails: to mix the ingredients and to chill the drink. Note that not all cocktails are shaken OR stirred (see The Old School Old Fashioned cocktail).
Next, strain the drink into a chilled glass (after dumping the ice and water you’ve used to chill the glass). Here, I’ve used a coupe glass. You could use a cocktail (martini) glass or even an old fashioned glass.
Garnish with a lemon peel (you can read about how I like to do lemon peel in this post). Enjoy!