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calendar   Sunday - July 14, 2013

BBQ, on the rocks

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey
rye whisky I cry
If I don’t get rye whiskey
I surely will die


If the ocean was whiskey, and I was a duck
I’d swim to the bottom and never come up




I’m learning the ins and outs of that inexpensive gas grill we bought in the fall. The right side is for heat, and for burning things. And for thick steaks. The left side is for smoke, and for cooking things. Chicken thighs are almost pure fat, so they have to go on a cool grill and roast for a good long time to cook, otherwise they’ll piss gallons of liquid fat out and set everything on fire. Burgers go on the upper warming tray, otherwise they’ll ooze drippings through the grill and set everything on fire.

Yup, I’m getting the hang of it.

What I’m learning most of all is that a proper grilling experience requires a decent drink by your side. A half cold can of light beer doesn’t do it. No, to deal with the smoke and the heat and the sometimes flames, you want something potent. And flavorful. Martinis are out. A good scotch on the rocks, a rich single malt with a spoonful of spring water, or perhaps a Don Draper approved cocktail. If it has to be a beer, make it a big one, and dark and complex. John Courage Director’s Bitter or something heavy from the Dogfish Head brewery. None of that wimpy, low carb, sugary, faggoty stuff. Real Men cooking Real Food over Real Fire while having a Real Drink.

After reading a couple reviews online, I picked up a bottle of High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey. Rye isn’t for everyone. Heck, rye isn’t for most folks. It’s “red whiskey”, that real old time American spirit, and it comes with a pretty darn sharp edge. But once you learn to like it, softer whiskeys just don’t satisfy any longer. I’ve read somewhere that you have to be of a certain age to appreciate the stuff; it’s not a drink that appeals to young folks at all. Fine by me.

I’m fairly new to rye, only on my third bottle since last fall. The Rendezvous stuff is the best of what I’ve tried so far. It’s a hearty blend between a young 6 yo 95% rye and a 16 yo 80% rye. The rye taste is very strong. I’ll leave it to the “professional” tasters to supply you with all the BS terms of what they daydream it tastes like - vanilla and cinnamon and leather and toasted porterhouse fat from Louie’s Grill on 9th Street in Cincinnati on a Tuesday evening in October and all that nonsense. All I can tell you is that it tastes big and bold, but isn’t too sharp, and the flavor lasts a long time after you take a sip.

It also makes a fantastic, perfectly smooth Manhattan:
mix
3oz Rendezvous Rye
1 1/2 oz fresh Martini red vermouth
3 shakes of orange bitters
together in a cocktail shaker over 4 fresh ice cubes. Shake. Pour into a large martini glass, add 2 maraschino cherries and a half teaspoon of the cherry syrup from the bottle. Stir it once or twice with a spoon handle. Serve.

For helping with the BBQ, I just poured some in a glass and added a couple ice cubes. It worked: the chicken came out just fine fine. Fully cooked, crispy skin, a nice spicy sauce blend of Stubb’s Mopping Sauce and Louisiana Hot Sauce. The cheeseburgers done on the top rack were perfect too. Yay me.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/14/2013 at 02:11 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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