Thinking in terms of a cocktail it is vital to understand how to blend based on the flavor profile of the selected spirit. Although Sour-based drinks always sell and I am convinced that most tequila lovers really prefer orange and lime to the true flavor of agave, a spirit like this should be the focus. It should be the subtle cocoa nib elegance of rye, the cinnamon spice and the dry finish that shines through. More and more bartenders love to use rye rather then its more popular cousin Bourbon because of its drier notes. Because it is unmistakable, whereas bourbon — which, don’t get me wrong, can make a fantastic cocktail — tends to overpower with sweetness and viscosity rather than dance with the drink.
It is hard to improve on the Sazerac, or Manhattan; these are perfect cocktails, but this is one of my favorite WhistlePig cocktails.
1 1/2 oz of WhistlePig Rye
3/4 of an oz of cardamaro (wine based amaro from Piemonte Italy)
1/2 oz of Gran Classico (a softer, sweeter version of Campari with less of the intensely bitter bite and a very subtle rosemary note)
2 dashes of Bitter Truth “Jerry Thomas” bitters
This is placed into a bar glass with ice, stirred and strained into a single rocks glass served up and finished with a swath of lemon.
Last night we held a “Pigs on Plates’ tail to snout dinner featuring a hand reared, free range organic pig from the WhistlePig farm. Chef Jonathan and bar manager Derek McCluster and bar goddess Tracy Witkin came up with some fantastic pairings featuring both the WhistlePig rye and the WhistlePig pig. It was a great night and I would like to thank everyone involved, those that attended and of course those that worked it.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Mortimer and Mauve were not in attendance.