The third (of five) that I’m going to pull out of Robert O. Simonson’s The Old-Fashioned, this beverage was created by Mike Ryan of Chicago’s The Violet Hour. It’s the first (and only) of the book’s recipes I’ll be highlighting that is rye-based, as is the traditional version of the Old-Fashioned. As Simonson describes it, this drink is sort of halfway between an Old-Fashioned and a Manhattan, and like the latter drink, is served up. It’s got the bitters/sugar/whiskey combination of the Old-Fashioned, and the bitter herbal component of the Manhattan, although in this case utilizing Chartreuse in lieu of vermouth.
2 ounces rye whiskey
1/8 ounce Angostura bitters
1/8 ounce green Chartreuse
1/4 ounce rich (2:1) simple syrup
Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze an orange twist over the drink and drop it in.
Perhaps, as its name and Simonson both suggest, this drink will make you squint with its bitterness. And right up front, it is pretty bitter, as you might expect with such a heavy dose of Angostura, not to mention the Chartreuse. But pretty quickly the bite of the rye comes in, and, perhaps due to the contrasting bitterness, its natural sweetness seems to get drawn out as well. As the drink moves back along the tongue, all the many complexities of the three main ingredients appear, and they complement each other enormously well. This is a strong, perhaps difficult drink, not for the beginning imbiber, but, in the end, wholly rewarding. Five livers