Sazerac (Rittenhouse Rye)

Sazerac Cocktail 5 out of 28.

I have challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February.

I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me. Hopefully, if I can get my act together we’ll have some video.


Sazerac Cocktail.
1 Lump of Sugar. (Generous Bar Spoon Rich Simple Syrup)
1 Dash Angostura or Peychana Bitters. (a couple dashes Peychaud’s Bitters)
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (2 oz Rittenhouse 100 Rye)

Stir well and strain into another glass that has been cooled and rinsed with Absinthe (Sirene Absinthe Verte) and squeeze lemon peel on top.

Rittenhouse 100 (Or sometimes called “Bonded”) seems to be the default Rye Whiskey for New York bars. Just about every time you read about a Rye Whiskey cocktail from New York, it calls for Rittenhouse 100. I’m not sure if it is the low key easy mixing nature of this whiskey that is so attractive, or the fact that it is 100 proof. Actually, I’m pretty sure the real reason is it so widely used is that it usually retails for around $15.

Unfortunately, for a long time, Rittenhouse wasn’t available on the West Coast. Even today, while it is usually available, the supplies often come and go, I guess with the whims of the distributor.

For the price, it is a very good Rye, which is flexible enough to mix well in just about any cocktail you throw at it. However, for me, it shines more in drinks like Manhattans, Brooklyns, Red Hooks, and Little Italys.

In a Sazerac, it doesn’t quite bring enough to the party. For a cocktail as naked as the Sazerac I like the Rye to have a bit more bite and character than the Rittenhouse.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

4 thoughts on “Sazerac (Rittenhouse Rye)

  1. RH100 goes through droughts as the production they initiated years ago for the batch doesn’t match the increasing demand for it. Currently, we’re in the 3rd drought that I can recall.

    As for RH100 vs. OO, they are different styles of rye. RH is of the spicier Pennsylvania style and OO is of the milder Maryland variety.

  2. Really, you think Rittenhouse is spicier than Old Overholt, Fred? It is hotter, at 100 Proof, but to me Overholt is the spicier flavored Rye. Different palates, I guess.

    I like both Rittenhouse and Old Overholt, but Rittenhouse is, cough, higher proof and usually cheaper, so I am more likely to keep it around the house.

  3. Fifteen bucks!? Wow! (I do realise that’s a price from four years ago) My rye supply is waning so I checked availability through the LCBO here in Ontario. Rittenhouse 100 is currently priced at $45. Up from last year’s $39 when I chose it over Lot 40.

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