Old Fashioned’s in October – Rum and Rye Oh My!

by KeithP on October 20, 2011

Two pretty decent efforts, one better than the other, but still pretty decent is the best way to describe our efforts last night at mixing up soda water-based Old Fashioned’s.  Today, we turn back to our base formula of spirit, rich sugar syrup and bitters to layer in our first of many tweaks, twists and turns to this classic recipe.  As designed, we are trying to progressively increase from more subtle to bolder changes in the hopes of learning and better appreciating the versatility of this fine formula.

So we take our base formula and split the spirits into two …

side note: aside from the “great soda water debate” that plagues discussions of the Old Fashioned, another, less robust debate quietly rages underground … bourbon or rye?  I decided that for purposes of this project weighing in on one debate was enough.  Bourbon is my go-to spirit in a whiskey Old Fashioned; I’m equally happy using rye, but on average I grab a bourbon bottle far more than a rye bottle when preparing said drink on my own.  If you prefer rye, great, have at it.  We mention this little “debate” here, in part, because today’s post is meant to highlight a subtle change to the base formula by layering in a new spirit on top of the existing whiskey.  As we previously show cased bourbon in our base recipe, and today we are using rye (as this recipe calls for it), we thought we should be on the up-and-up about it.

… adding in a fantastic rhum agricole from Martinique against the earthy, robust and boldly flavorful profile of our main spirit.  This, the first of many nuanced tweaks seemed like a great first step in testing out this formula — we know how well rye and rum pair with one another  and so it seemed natural to try it here in a “simpler” format.  These two spirits are indeed at home with one another in this glass of ice with an added level of richness, flavor and complexity that wasn’t present in the original.  This drink is equally rye and equally rhum on the palate with the blanketty goodness of the rich syrup binding everything together.  A fantastic first effort at tweaking things up.

Rum & Rye Old-Fashioned
Recipe from the book “Mix, Shake, Stir …Recipes from Danny Meyer’s acclaimed New York City Restaurants” and adapted by theSpeakista

•    1 oz rye whiskey (Rittenhouse bonded was used)
•    1 oz golden rum, preferably rhum agricole (Neisson Rhum Agricole Eleve Sous Bois was used)
•    1/4 oz Demerara simple syrup
•    2 drops Angostura bitters
Garnish: orange twist
Glass: rocks or old fashioned glass
Tools: mixing glass, bar-spoon and julep strainer

Assembly: Fill a mixing glass and rocks glass with ice.  Add the rhum, rye, syrup and bitters to the mixing glass and stir until cold.  Strain into the serving glass, garnish and serve.

Rhum and whiskey and an Old Fashioned … a match made in imbibing heaven.  Tomorrow, another subtle splitting of spirits yet this time, we see what fruit has to say on the subject.

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