So what the heck took so long? I really have no idea why it did. What you may ask could have taken so long … learning how to fly a plane, perfecting my parkour technique or finally finishing my long over due dissertation on quantum mechanics? Well, for a novice imbiber like myself it was far more a dereliction of duty and important than any of these … I failed to make the above named drink properly!
Why you ask? Well it wasn’t for want of trying. Truth be told I had made this drink numerous times upon first learning of it; but if I am being completely truthful I hadn’t really made the drink properly because I was missing one critical ingredient. Batavia Arrack. You got it – theSpeakista is and was the proud owner of various different bottles of gin, rye, bourbon, whiskies and you already know of how I dove headfirst into the deep end of the rum pool. Heck, I own at least ten different kinds of amari (not all that much for a home based novice but pretty respectable) and yet I didn’t own a bottle of Arrack. Okay, I’m giving myself a bit of a pass here — Meletti versus Aperol versus Ramazzotti all matter and all have wide dispersal and use in cocktails but what about Arrack. A few selections I had come across but nothing in mass, at least by my tasting, that led me to need it.
Finally, after making the Rack-n-Rye under a new, and totaling amazing twist (subbing in Smith & Cross rum) I decided that I had had enough of faking it through this drink and purchased my first bottle of Arrack. Salvation was at hand – finally I tasted the drink in its proper form complete with waves of funky tastiness and, interesting enough, subtle little nuances.
Recipe by PDT in NYC and adapted by theSpeakista (sourced from Lush Life Production, “in 12 seconds” series)
• 1 1/2 oz rye
• 3/4 oz Batavia Arrack
• 1/2 oz demerara sugar syrup
• 2 dashes Angostura bitters
• 2 dashes Angostura orange bitters (Regan’s orange bitters)
Garnish: orange twist
Glass: rocks glass
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon and a julep strainer
Assembly: Combine all of the ingredients in the mixing glass with plenty of cracked ice and stir for at least 30 seconds until well chilled. Strain the mixture into the serving glass that has been filled with ice, express the oils from the twist over the glass, rub the rim of the glass and insert the twist into the glass. Sip, enjoy and repeat.
The verdict: What an ideal expression of simplicity – not because it is boring but because in so few ingredients so much is created. Arguably a riff on the classic Old Fashioned, the Rack-n-Rye finds unlikely lovers paired together … the rye and Arrack work so very nicely together. This is a layered and complex drink that was wholly unexpected.
theSpeakista’s Rating: 4 1/2 stars (out of 5)