Rye Cocktails that Will Warm You Up this Fall

Rob Rye
Photo: Greg DuPree

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 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.

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Whiskey Chai

Whiskey Chai
© Fredrika Stjärne

For this warm, boozy nightcap, Linda Aldredge uses a blend of whole spices, but home cooks can buy Chai Spice Blend.

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Mott & Mulberry


Leo Robitschek of The Nomad Bar in NYC uses fresh apple cider and maple syrup in this perfect cold-weather cocktail.

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Northern Standard


This drink takes your usual Manhattan up a notch thanks to three different bitter elements. Created by mixologist James Ives, the Northern Standard is a full-flavored cocktail that uses Knob Creek rye aged in charred barrels to balance out the richness of Carpano. It's equally strong as it is smooth.

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Manhattan Cocktail

Manhattan Cocktail
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

The Manhattan is one of the most popular whiskey cocktails, and has been enjoyed for over a century. The earliest known printed recipe for the Manhattan was published in O. H. Byron's 1884 Modern Bartenders' Guide. The book cites two versions: one made with French vermouth, the other with Italian. You can add a splash of juice from the jar of maraschino cherries if you'd like to add fruity sweetness to the drink, or alternatively, garnish with a lemon peel.

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Bottled Manhattan

Bottled Manhattan
Greg DuPree

Dave Arnold and Don Lee, the cocktail masterminds behind Existing Conditions in Greenwich Village, like their Manhattans between 21.2 and 28.4 degrees Fahrenheit. But you can't get to that specific level of frostiness by stirring liquor with ice: Your cocktail would be far too watery before it dipped anywhere near that temperature. Pre-mixing batches of the bar's rye-forward Manhattan in bottles and stashing them in a precisely calibrated cooler allows Arnold and Lee to separate chilling from dilution, resulting in a perfect drink every time.

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