On the Sauce: The Early Ryeser (VIDEO)

For those times when you want to go hard, and still be productive in the morning.

click to enlarge On the Sauce: The Early Ryeser (VIDEO)
Chris Fasick

Today, we're talking about the Mount Rushmore of cocktails. And if not all cocktails, certainly whiskey drinks. That's right — get ready to put your pinky out for our latest take on the glorious Manhattan.

I still remember my first Manhattan (which is something I can't say for the Old Fashioned, my favorite whiskey cocktail). It happened while I was out with a friend who ordered one. Newly into bourbon at the time, I was excited that we shared a love for this sweet brown nectar. I asked for a sample of her drink and she obliged — and it was terrible. Later I found out she also preferred cheap whiskey, a beverage preference I cannot get behind.

Look, I understand bar tabs do get expensive, but cut corners in other areas of your life. Toilet paper and whiskey are two items worth splurging on.

I've since learned that pairing a good rye with a decent sweet vermouth makes for an amazing cocktail, and I haven't looked back. The Manhattan is now on my shortlist of drinks when I need to warm up on a cold night, or take the edge off after a shitty day, for two reasons. One, it's quick and easy, and two: It calls for the few ingredients you should always have on hand.

But to put a spin on the traditional recipe, we're incorporating Earl Grey-infused sweet vermouth. What I like about infusing spirits with tea is that the process takes minutes — rather than hours or days — to achieve our desired level of deliciousness. You can then use the elevated fortified wine to put interesting twists on any number of cocktails at home.

Never has a drink that's pure booze tasted so refreshing. This week's cocktail is meant for those times (weeknight drinking, ahem) when you want to go zero to 100, real quick, and still be productive in the morning.

click to enlarge On the Sauce: The Early Ryeser (VIDEO)
Chris Fasick

The Early Ryeser

Makes 1

Earl Grey-Infused Sweet Vermouth:

8 ounces sweet vermouth

1 Earl Grey tea bag

In a glass jar or other container with a lid, pour sweet vermouth over tea bag. Let rest for up to 30 minutes. Store covered and refrigerated. There's enough for 8 cocktails, and this infused vermouth keeps for longer than it'll take to drink it.


2 ounces rye whiskey

1 ounce Earl Grey-Infused Sweet Vermouth

3 dashes bitters

Fill a martini glass with ice and set aside to chill. In a cocktail shaker filled two-thirds with ice, add all ingredients. Shake until well-chilled. Discard ice from glass and strain in cocktail. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Connect with CL columnist Chris Fasick on Twitter, or email him at [email protected] if there's a cocktail or recipe you'd like featured.

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