What’s the best way to make something you like even better? Amp it up – make it bigger, faster, stronger, etc. As red-blooded Americans, these attitudes about consumption are pretty much woven into our DNA, even when it comes to liquor.
If a Sazerac tastes delicious to you, what’s an easy way to make the experience of imbibing them even better? Why, make them stronger of course. But how do you make a cocktail that’s already about as boozy as they come even more so? A high proof spirit is the solution. Therein lays the fascination with over-proof spirits. As women who love spirits, we are always delighted to sample from this category of potables. We enjoyed learning the story behind “Navy Strength” products – these are spirits distilled to a higher proof to ensure that if a bottle was ever spilled onto a pile of gun powder during an evening’s revelry, the ammo would still explode.
High proof spirits are also fun for party tricks, such as flaming shots, Blue Blazers and the particularly showy display of blowing fire – a trick LUPEC pal and DUDEPEC Chicago member Strong Island perfected during his club bartending days. Trying at home without his supervision is not recommended. Instead, grab yourself a bottle of high proof rye and get busy mixing up a batch of the aforementioned Sazerac. Strong Island recommends Rittenhouse 1OO Proof Rye for these purposes.
If mixing at home isn’t your thing, head on over to the Citizen where any of their team of skilled mixologists can mix one up for you, preferably with a perfectly spherical cube of ice.
Adapted from The Essential Cocktail by Dale DeGroff.
1 sugar of cube
3 to 4 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
2 ounces of Rittenhouse 1OO Proof Rye
splash of Absinthe, Pernod or Herbsaint
Take two rocks glasses and fill one with ice to chill for serving while preparing the drink in another glass.
In the bottom of the prep glass, muddle the sugar cube and bitters until the sugar is dissolved; a splash of water can execute the process.
Add the rye and several ice cubes. Stir to chill.
Take the serving glass, toss out its ice, add the splash of absinthe, pernod or herbsaint.
Swirl it around to coat the inside of the glass. Pour out any liquid that remains.
Strain the chilled cocktail into the prepared glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.