Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, February 3, 2012

Drink of the Week: Rock & Rye at Rye Bar

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge The Rock & Rye Old Fashioned with the Rock & Rye Hot Toddy in back - LOU BUSTAMANTE
  • Lou Bustamante
  • The Rock & Rye Old Fashioned with the Rock & Rye Hot Toddy in back
When Greg Lindgren and Jon Gasparini first opened up Rye Bar, the pair researched all the possible ways to use rye whiskey in cocktails, but it was the lost classic American liqueur "rock and rye" that really piqued their interest. This combination of cinnamon, clove, fresh and dried citrus peels, and the medicinal herb horehound, steeped in rye and sweetened with rock candy, was a popular remedy for colds in the early 1900s.

After some experimentation -- and some unpleasantly astringent and powerful batches due to the oversteeping of the horehound -- Lindgren perfected the recipe by using horehound candy in place of the herb and to sweeten the mix. Originally designed to go into a Rock & Rye Hot Toddy ($10, rock and rye liqueur, hot water, cinnamon stick, citrus), the spiced liqueur also works cold in the Rock & Rye Old Fashioned ($10), which is simply the liqueur, chilled with bitters.

The mix isn't always the same, as Lindgren and Gasparini encourage the bar staff to add their own flourishes when replenishing the infusion at the end of the night, meaning that it can get more spice in the winter and fruit in the summer.

On a recent cold and foggy night, I wasn't sure I could feel the purported curative effects of the horehound in the toddy, but the warmth certainly clung all the way home.

Rye Bar, 688 Geary (at Leavenworth), 474-4448

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
  • Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • 24th Annual Autumn Moon Festival
    Crowds gathered September 6-7 for the 24th Annual Autumn Moon Festival in Chinatown. Visitors enjoyed arts, crafts, cultural exhibits, food and a dog fashion show. Photographs by Dhoryan Rizo.
  • Felton: Touring the Redwoods
    Blue skies meet redwood canopies in the mountain town of Felton, located just north of Santa Cruz on Highway 9. Once a bustling logging community, the town is now a mix of mellow locals and serene wilderness. Visitors can enjoy the redwoods in nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and splash in swimming holes in the San Lorenzo River. For a bite to eat stop by Rocky’s Cafe for fruit-laden pancakes, barbeque at the Cowboy Bar & Grill and poolside burgers at the Trout Farm Inn. Other stops worth checking out include Roaring Camp Railroads, the Mount Hermon zip line tour, and the educational Bigfoot Discovery Museum. For beer or cocktails a log cabin bar has you covered.