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A Return to Rye

The Resurgence of American Rye Whiskey in the Bartender's Toolkit

Article by Brandon Cummins Director of Education/Altamar Brands

Photography by Brandon Cummins

Originally published in Topeka City Lifestyle

Whether you're a casual fan of whiskey and whiskey cocktails, or a connoisseur, American Rye Whiskey and Rye Cocktails should be on your radar, especially now as many craft cocktail bartenders embrace this classic spirit.

High N Wicked's Kentucky Straight Rye, is distilled and bottled in Kentucky and labeled "Straight" meaning it has been aged for a minimum of 2 years, however it's aged for a minimum of 5 years, giving the whiskey more time to mature in the barrel. The High N Wicked Rye is also referred to as a "High Rye" meaning more than 90% of the grains used in the mash bill are Rye. This creates a flavor profile with notes of cinnamon, caramelized apples, a subtle note of popcorn and a hint of black pepper.

Maple Rye Old Fashioned

2oz High N Wicked KY Straight Rye Whiskey

½ oz Cinnamon Maple Syrup*

3 dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well diluted. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass, and garnish with a fresh orange peel twist. 

Fall Spiced Rye Sour

2 oz High N Wicked KY Straight Rye Whiskey

¾ oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

½ oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

½ oz Maple Syrup

5 dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, add ice and shake hard. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a fresh slice of lemon.

*Cinnamon Maple Syrup: combine equal parts maple syrup and water in a stock pot over low heat - do not boil. Add in three cinnamon sticks and stir slowly for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow all contents to cool for 15 minutes. Strain off cinnamon and store syrup in the fridge in an airtight container for no more than 7 days.