Rock and Rye

You know how it is, when you need a weekend from your weekend? When your Friday through Sunday was actually more tiring than your work week and perhaps about 40 times more boozy? On those weeks, Monday is the cruelest of days.

But at the same time, I find that the routine of Monday is also kind of welcome. Suddenly, you’re useful again, a productive member of society. You have a job, a purpose, you’re bustling with the rest. You realize that you cannot lie on the couch in your pajamas, watching Hocus Pocus for 12 hours straight, ordering takeout for every meal, letting your brain rot on a steady diet of Face Off and the Mindy Project, every day (unless you’re totally awesome; Hocus Pocus is the BEST). And you realize that you don’t want to. Mondays, it seems, are a necessary evil.

This weekend, the straw that broke my brain was a weeee bit too much of this little concoction. According to Saveur, Rock and Rye is an old school saloon beverage turned remedy for the common cold. Apparently in the olden days, bartenders would add rock candy to sweeten harsh rye. At some point, people started using it to cure sore throats and runny noses and now, like all the classic cocktails, it’s returned to the oh-so-hip cocktail culture with a vengeance.  I was having a dinner party last weekend and since I like me some brown liquor, I thought I’d give it a try. And try it, and try it, and try it I did….right onto the couch the next day, cursing the Monday to come.

Rock and Rye

Recipe from Saveur, November 2012.

If you’re into brown, spicy, medicinal cocktails, this one is for you. I used sugar iso rock candy (because I couldnt find it!) and grenadine iso Luxardo Cherry Syrup. I can only imagine how good it would have been with the real stuff. 

1 liter good rye whiskey
8 oz rock candy (I used 8 oz granulated sugar)
4 oz Luxardo Cherry Syrup (I used grenadine-it’s all I could find!)
12 whole cloves
3 whole star anise
3 sticks cinnamon
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced

  • Add all ingredients to a 4 quart glass jar with a lid
  • Let steep at room temperature for 2 days to 1 month
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