On Saturday, my girlfriend took me for an early valentine's celebration to an elegant Manhattan cocktail bar called Pegu. After looking at the menu, she told them I'd like something special made with rye whiskey and not too sweet.
They brought me a "rattlesnake", and it was as good as any cocktail I have ever had. I tried to recreate it last night and came pretty close using the recipe at this link:
I substituted Old Fitz BIB for the rye and used 1/4 teaspoon absinthe for the pastis. I made a demerara sugar syrup and used 1/2 teaspoon as a sweetener. Tonight I will up the syrup to 1 tsp.*
I checked out a few cocktail books at B&N and those that include the rattlesnake often suggest blended whiskey.
This cocktail is fantastic and if you are ever in NYC, stop by Pegu and enjoy a vintage cocktail that you are unlikely to ever forget.
*Actually had to increase this to about 1 1/2 tsp. demarara syrup in order to balance the sourness of the lemon.