RYE MINTED MAPLE SMASH:
- 2oz Fenwick's New Salem Single Barrel Rye Whiskey
- .75 oz Fenwick's Whiskey Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup
- 1/4 lime cut up in quarters
- 15 spearmint leaves, stems removed
- trace of cane sugar for muddling
- 4-5 shakes Beehive Lime Bitters
Drop the lime wedges & spearmint into a cocktail shaker. Dust the top with cane sugar to help extract the mint & lime oils, and muddle well. Add the rye, maple syrup & lime bitters, and fill shaker 2/3 with ice. Shake vigorously until tumbler is well frosted. Pour over fresh ice, I used one large king cube of clear ice, and garnished with a sprig of mint. Strain if you are adverse to floaty herbal bits. Cheers!
We finally made a the short trip to Pine Tavern Distillery. The place is tiny but charming, and set amongst the fields of Salem. They are open all year, complete with a glassed in bar area, and a blazing fire pit area surrounded by a ring of Adirondacks. I was hoping to sample their new Apple Jack, but it was not ready. We were able to try all of their other products. It was a tough choice between their single barrel rye, and their reserve bourbon, which clocks in at 119.8 proof. I chose the rye, as I knew exactly what I was going to make. A rye smash, with their maple syrup in place of sugar. Fenwick's New Salem Single Barrel Rye Whiskey has a bold spicy edge that I knew would work really well mixed. Their Fenwick's Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup is aged in their used rye or bourbon barrels, which seemed like a perfect match!
Smashes are an early form of cocktail akin to a julep. The Whiskey Smash specifically dates to 1887, in Thomas’ “Bar-tenders Guide”. The drink is readily adaptable to tinkering and variations, but are based around a spirit, citrus, some sweetener & an herbal component (usually mint). This is a great drink that works equally well when made with a bourbon or rye, or a gin – and the mint can be swapped out for basil, rosemary or thyme. It is a drink made for tinkering.