Rye whiskey is a classic American spirit offering bold, dry and spicy elements to any cocktail. It pairs well with everything from brandy and vermouth to nutmeg and apples. Rye cocktails are perfect for the cold weather and there are plenty of ways to enjoy them. Try an updated classic like the Memorial Union Old Fashioned or try something appropriately seasonal like the Mott & Mulberry which features apple cider, maple syrup, and lemon. Here are seven rye cocktails guaranteed to keep you feeling cozy.
Coquito, or "little coconut," is a traditional creamy rum punch served in Puerto Rico for Christmas and throughout the winter holidays. While some cookbook recipes refer to the drink as coconut eggnog, each family puts their own twist on the drink: Some include eggs or egg yolks, others do not. Shamil Velázquez, the executive chef of Delaney Oyster House in Charleston, stands firmly in the no-egg camp. Velázquez's coquito recipe takes its richness and viscosity instead from coconut cream and three types of milk, while warming spices and white rum add aroma and flavor. In Puerto Rico, some families use pistachios, almonds, and even Nutella to flavor their proprietary blends. "People get crazy with this stuff around the island," Velázquez says. "My family's signature is the ginger, which gives a little spiciness. That's what makes ours different."
It's fun to make your own bitters, and it takes relatively little effort—just some time to allow the flavorful aromatics to infuse the alcohol. This citrus-spice batch will go nicely with all of your favorite cocktails that call for bitters, or add a few dashes to a glass of seltzer for a refreshing thirst-quencher. If you'd like, you can divide the mixture between a few dropper bottles and gift them to your cocktail-loving friends.