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Rye Recipes

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This afternoon I was enjoying the beautiful Chicago weather and watching the Amazin' Blue dominate the Badgers and wanted a nice tall cool drink based on Rye. I settled for a simple 3oz. Rye (Jim Beam Rye), rocks, and fill a collins glass with Reed's ginger beer. Enjoyable enough, but I was wondering if anyone had some other recipes specially suited to rye, as opposed to whiskey in general or bourbon?

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  • 2 years later...

Rye and Ginger is a classic, and IMHO the secret is a good ginger beer or strong ginger ale. A good zap of ginger will bring a lackluster rye around. I like Stewarts Ginger Beer, it's sweeter than Reeds, maybe hotter. More to my taste anyway.

I've heard that the Sazerac, Old Fashioned and Manhattan were 'supposedly' originally created as Rye cocktails, present that info FWIW, urban legend, bar myth, etc...you can find good recipes for those and many others here-choose Rye as an ingredient and see what comes up:


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It is true that the Sazerac and Manhattan are most authentically made with rye, not bourbon. Since the Old Fashioned was supposedly invented at the Pendennis Club, in Louisville, it seems doubtful that it originally contained any spirit but bourbon.

Many in Maryland and other rye centers will argue that mint juleps should only be properly made with rye. I forget who said it, but there is a quote to the effect that "a man who would make a mint julep with bourbon is the type who would put a scorpian in a baby's buggy."

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by cowdery on Mon May 13 14:05:29 2002 (server time).</FONT></P>

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Hi Chuck

That was quoted by a friend of H.L. Mencken, talking about crushing mint leaves. life is good -den

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  • 4 months later...

Actually, in "The Omnibibulous Mr. Mencken" by Bud Johns, the quote is given as

"Any guy who'd put rye in a mint julep and crush the leaves, would put scorpions

in a baby's bed". Johns states that this was said of H.L. Mencken by Irvin S. Cobb,

a fellow prestigious writer of the time.

I think Mencken knew better than Cobb on the subject, though.

Michael Jackson has written that rye is typically "mint-like", which is very true.

Likely sugar was added from day one to rye to soften it (Rock and Rye).

After the decampment of (some) rye distillers to Kentucky where corn grew better,

they still added sugar, but the minty tang from the old Penn rye they

remembered was missing, or diminished.

So, they added mint to remember that old rye taste.

This is a little theory of mine. If it is correct, and even if it is not, I think Mencken,

an admirer of rye whiskey, could not be faulted for using it in a Mint Julep. You

can't have too much of a good thing.

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