Superior Milk Washed Rock & Rye

cherry, citrus, clove, menthol, bittersweet

MGP rye whiskey, cherry, orange, apricot, lemon verbena, horehound, sugar, clove, cinnamon, orange bitters, Douglas fir bitters

We previously featured this cocktail in Volume #2: Lost Ingredients and decided to come at it from a new angle in Volume #3.

A little online research will tell you the provenance of the Rock & Rye cocktail, especially since its resurrection in the current historical cocktail renaissance has made information about it easy to access. The Rock & Rye was a product of America’s earliest saloons and appears in Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual in 1888. The original cocktail was a homemade whiskey based liqueur, spiced and sweetened probably to mask poor whiskey. Traditional wisdom compares the original to an “Old Fashioned in a bottle.” It was as ubiquitous in the American bar as many other staples now lost, like Amer Picon, which made it a perfect candidate for our Lost Ingredient themed menu (Vol #2).

We liked our house Rock & Rye so much we decided to rethink and transform it for Volume #3. We adjusted the recipe a small amount—adding douglas fir bitters, apricot, horehound, and our house picon—and then milk washing the whole batch. The process traps tannins and solids from the cocktail in a web of milk fats, which act like a molecular sieve.

The result is a clarified, much softer and more herbaceous cocktail than we started with. We’ve also added candied ginger to our garnish, a shout out to the rock candy garnish that gave the original its name.

milk washed rock & rye

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Temporary Shut Down

Due to Governor Andy’s “No Indoor Seating” rule, we will be closed for on-site service at least until the week of December 14.  
In the meantime, we are offering takeout service from our food and beverage programs.  We are open for takeout Tuesday-Saturday, 5-9pm.   Call 859.618.6318 to place an order.