Hello faithful readers! I thought I'd end my recent hiatus here with a cocktail post that has a couple of good holiday gift ideas as well.
As the weather has turned colder this fall, brown spirits like bourbon and rye seem even more appealing than they do during the summer months. We have been branching out to try some different varieties, and as a result of our experiments I have a new favorite whiskey: High West's Double Rye. Josh and I decided to try it after reading this article, which described it as "sweet and spicy . . . [with] dry woody notes." I love the combination of spice and herbal flavors, and I even love drinking it on the rocks, which is unusual for me. At $35 for a 750 mL bottle it's not cheap, but it would make a very nice gift for someone who enjoys whiskey. And the bottle itself is very cool, making it easy to throw a ribbon around the neck and call it good.
While I enjoy Double Rye on its own, I love it in an old fashioned. My method of making it involves Angostura bitters, light brown sugar, and an Amarena cherry. These cherries are a delicious addition to most cocktails--I prefer them to Luxardo cherries and they come in a very attractive crock. If you want to give a really nice gift, you could include the rye, bitters, and cherries as pictured above. But the cherries by themselves would be a fabulous gift for anyone who is enthusiastic about cocktails or cherries--they are also delicious over ice cream.
And here's my recipe for a Double Rye old fashioned, which is perfect for drinking while you decorate your Christmas tree!
Double Rye Old Fashioned
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1.5 ounces High West Double Rye
1 Amarena cherry
In an old fashioned glass, start with the brown sugar and add the bitters. Then add the whiskey and the cherry and stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add ice and enjoy!