View Full Version : My first Rye- WT Rye 101
My rye-ginity is no more.
WT Rye 101 is a heck of a first jump into straight rye whiskey. Neat and on the rocks, I really enjoyed a balanced heat and the subtle peppery-ness. In both cases, I did find myself reaching for a splash of water to tame the beast as this seems young and is quite strong at 101. Still, I'm glad I went with the WT over the Old Overholt because I like controlling the alcohol content myself.
I'm currently sipping the last drops of my first rye Manhattan and it's fairly raw.
I used 3/4 ounce of Martini&Rossi Sweet Vermouth and 2 oz of the WT plus a three shakes of Angostura Bitters and a shake of Fee Orange. I shook rather than stirred (as I do with bourbon Manhattans) and poured into an old fashioned glass with three frozen cherries serving as ice. (Try it- you'll think me.)
Even with shaking, the rye and vermouth have not come fully together- I get waves of the spice and the sweet. Is is enjoyable, but not as polished as I'd like. I'm sure I can get there with a few more attempts and some tinkering. Suggestions from any mixologists out there are more than welcome.
I don't know that I will ever prefer rye over bourbon, but this is a nice change of pace.
What kind of cherries are you using?
I'm using Target-brand frozen dark sweet pitted cherries straight from the freezer to my glass.
The only idea I can think of is to make a perfect Manhatten, by using a little bit of bourbon with a little bit of rye. I really like the WT rye all by itself....it is very youthful and energetic. One of my favorite everyday pours. Maybe some 8-10yr Old Charter would help balance out the youthful energy of the Turkey.
Here's to getting it right...by experimentation. Good luck.
Jeff, I though a "perfect Manhattan" used both sweet and dry vermouth.
That said, I think I'll try mixing my whiskeys and my vermouths a few different ways. Maybe I'll even stirring another try.
It has been a while since I was behind the bar, so sorry if I was a little off on that one. I thought I remembered a perfect drink being the blend of scotch and bourbon.....so I then modified it a little more.
Well, either way.....WT rye is super! Glad some others have enjoyed it as well. Hope your experiments turn out great.
I'd suggest more vermouth with 101 proof. I like 2:1 with even a lower proof whiskey, but definitely with 101.
One of my favorite manhattans is equal parts WT 101 bourbon, WT rye and vermouth, several dashes of Angostura bitters, shaken vigorously for ~30 seconds or a little longer, served up in an iced (put in the freezer for a bit) crystal cocktail glass with cherries.
Again, with 101 proof whiskey, a bit more dilution is in order, so I shake it a little longer than with lower proof.
I've posted this before and I still like it.
Thanks for your post, I'm getting ready to begin exploring rye, particularly as a cocktail base. I'm not a professional mixologist, but I am an enthusiastic amateur. Recently my mother gave my wife a birthday present allowing a group of four to take a short course in cocktail preparation at the Bistro in Midway, Kentucky taught by Walt, a professional mixologist. We made 3 cocktails and got some recipes for additional drinks. I'm posting Walt's Manhattan recipe below along with my own notes/comments:
2 oz. Bourbon (Buffalo Trace or something decent in the $10-$18 a bottle range).
1 oz. sweet Vermouth (Try to find Vya).
1-2 dashes Regano Orange Bitters (also good in scotch).
(Dash – 1/8 oz.)
Put dash in bottom of 1 pint heat tempered mixing glass, fill with ice (fully pack the glass), add all other ingredients, stir along outside perimeter of mixing glass with handle of ice tea spoon until glass feels well chilled on outside. Strain with julep strainer into chilled cocktail glass. Drop in cherry. Whole foods has actual maraschino cherries without dye, brand is Nature’s Cherries.
I have to put in my vote for Vya Vermouth, both sweet and dry. I've seen a few older threads where others have recommended it and I think it is far above the inexpensive Vermouth that is generally available. Vya is made by Quady Winery in California and they have a page that leads you to local distributors. If you live in a state that allows it :skep: , then you can order it online. He also gave us a heads up on Vermouth lifespan after opening. Walt said that as a wine, Vermouth doesn't keep after opening, particularly the dry, and should be stored in the refridgerator once opened. Even then, two months is the outside on the sweet. My experience is to buy 375ml bottles unless a party is on the horizon.
Walt told us that you have to really stir the cocktail and don't stint on the ice. In fact he often would add ice once during his preparation. Agree with Jeff about the dilution versus the higher proof, although the recipe above calls for more Vermouth. Also, I love the frozen cherries idea, and will be trying it this weekend.
Jeff and Joel, you've given me some food for thought.
I don't have any regular WT 101 at the moment, but I wonder what might happen if I mix the WT Rye w/ Weller Antique. I've also got some Benchmark and Ten High hanging around to experiment with.
When I run through my current vermouth stash, I will look for the Vya. I don't mind spending a few bucks more for good vermouth.
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