5 Rye Whiskey Cocktails for Every Type of Drinker

This classic American spirit is versatile and delicious.

Sazerac cocktail recipe

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon

You've added some stand-out bottles of rye whiskey to your bar for sipping neat or on the rocks. Now what? Rye whiskey is a classic, American spirit that can bring spicy, bold elements to classic cocktails like a Sazerac, which is the official cocktail of the city of New Orleans, or an Old Fashioned, one of the most crowd-pleasing, simple cocktails you'll ever make. Whatever journey you decide on, rye whiskey is a versatile ingredient that can make for layered cocktails full of flavor and complexity. Read on for five of our favorite rye whiskey drinks to make at home.

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

Manhattans are easy to bottle and prepare in advance of a party — just ask Dave Arnold and Don Lee of Existing Conditions in New York City. The duo recommends using a swing-top bottle to store a mixture of whiskey, vermouth, one cup of water, and bitters in the refrigerator an hour before serving, leaving you free to host instead of playing the role of frazzled bartender.

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Vieux Carré

Vieux Carre

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon

Channel the decadence and debauchery of Prohibition-era New Orleans with a classic Vieux Carré recipe from Neal Bodenheimer.

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Sazerac cocktail recipe

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon

In 2008, the state of Louisiana passed a Senate bill (RS 1420.2 in case it ever comes up during a game of Jeopardy), making the Sazerac the official cocktail of the city of New Orleans. 

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Old Fashioned

old fashioned cocktail
Lucas Allen

Don't be fooled by the inherent simplicity of the drink — there is room for creativity and personalization when it comes to making an Old Fashioned.

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Northern Standard

Northern Standard Cocktail Recipe
Carey Jones

This drink is even better a Manhattan, 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. Equally strong as it is smooth.

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