It’s Rye Day the 13th is a food holiday started by the Maryland-based Sagamore Spirit Distillery in 2016. It was begun as a promotional opportunity for restaurants and bars.
The organizers suggest “a coast-to-coast toast” with Rye.
It reminds us of National Gnocchi Day, which occurs on the 29th of every month, in Argentina. All celebrants have gnocchi for lunch or dinner.
But we digress: back to the Rye.
Why not have Rye Day The 13th at home? Look in your closet: Do you have a bottle?
If not, Basil Hayden, Knob Creek, Old Forester, Redemption, Sazerac, Woodford Reserve, and other brands are waiting for you!
Rye whiskey is known for its full-bodied, spicy flavor. It has a peppery finish, and it’s much dryer than Bourbon, the spirit most related to it. The latter is sweeter, being made of at least 51% corn. Rye is made with at least 51% Rye). Here’s more about Rye vs. Bourbon.
How about a Rye cocktail party?
CLASSIC RYE COCKTAILS
There are scores, if not hundreds, of Rye cocktails. But the two you should try first are the most popular:
The Manhattan, the most famous Rye whiskey cocktail. It was first created in the 1870s (in Manhattan, of course) from Rye, sweet vermouth, and bitters, and garnished with a maraschino cherry. It delivers hints of pepper and spice from the Rye, sweet tanginess from the vermouth, and herbal nuances from the bitters.
Here’s the recipe, and the history of the Manhattan cocktail.
The Sazerac, made in New Orleans in the mid-1800s, combines Rye, Cognac, absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters (a New Orleans brand), and a sugar cube, garnished with lemon peel. The name comes from the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of Cognac initially used to make it. This is a drink for licorice lovers: absinthe gives it a black licorice finish. Since 2008, the Sazerac has been the official cocktail of New Orleans.
Here’s the recipe, and the history of the Sazerac.
Whiskey Ginger: Rye on the rocks, topped off with ginger beer or ginger ale.
Rye & Soda: Rye on the rocks, topped with soda. A few shakes of bitters add more complexity.
If you want something simpler, try:
> Check out the different types of whiskey.
 The Manhattan, the most popular Rye cocktail (photo © The Mercury | Atlanta [now closed]).
 Second of the legendary Rye cocktails, The Sazerac, from New Orleans. Here’s the recipe (photo © Old Forester).