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A Spontaneous Libation for your Consideration

Night Ranger

1 1⁄2 oz Rye, Rittenhouse 100
1⁄2 oz Cardamaro
1 t Grenadine (cardamom grenadine, see note)

Stir all ingredients in mixing glass, strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a star anise.


To make the cardamom grenadine: Lightly toast fresh cardamom pods, add to simple syrup and let simmer for 10 minutes, add pomegranate juice and let chill.

Bonded rye really helps focus the whiskey while the Cardamaro, bitters and cardamom grenadine add complexity and richness.

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3.5 stars
(3 ratings)

From the Knowledge Vault

Making Bourbon

This is the fourth in a series on Bourbon by Zach Pearson. Read them all: Bourbon, Bourbon After the Act, Bourbon: What it is ... and isn't, Making Bourbon, Who Makes My Bourbon, Producer Capsules., Finding the Good Stuff, Tasting the Good Stuff, Neat, Mashbills, Geeky Information and Resources.

This is really pretty simple. A distiller buys grains off the commodity market: corn, wheat, rye, whatever their recipe demands. They also buy malted barley from a supplier; none of the large Bourbon distillers grow their own grains or malt their own barley. Each grain is milled into meal, which takes specialized equipment for each grain, then everything is cooked together, with the addition of each grain happening at a different temperature. Starch to sugar conversion is allowed to take place (due to the enzymes in the malted barley), then fermentation is started, typically with a secret yeast strain. After this, everything is dumped into a column still, where a first distillation happens. This liquid (at about 80 proof) is pumped into a doubler still where a second distillation takes it to between 110 and 150 proof. The spent grain, historically fed to pigs is removed from the still and a portion of it is used to “sour” the next batch of grain, ensuring proper pH for yeast growth.

Recent Additions

  • Thou Shall Not be Named — Reposado Tequila, Mezcal, Amaro, Aromatized wine, Lemon
  • Night People — Rye, Sweet vermouth, Elderflower liqueur, Bitters, Peychaud's Bitters
  • Bela Lugosi — Fernet Branca, Mezcal, Pineapple juice, Agave syrup, Lemon juice, Sugar
  • Anne Bonny's Last Call — Light rum, Orange liqueur, Coconut liqueur, Lime juice, Pineapple syrup, Pineapple, Basil, Lime
  • Holy, Fig and Rye — Rye, Amaro, Fig syrup

Recent Discussion

  • Re The Showgirl, 1 day ago KurtB commented:

    Maybe my favorite cocktail I discovered on this site. Love this!!

  • Re Final Benediction, 2 days ago bkemp1984 commented:

    Made as a frozen drink with Boodles and Pierre Ferrand and a cherry on top. Very good. I've found frozen drinks adopted from non-frozen cocktails need a bit of sweetener compared to standard recipes, but forgot to add it this time and was perfectly fine without it.

  • Re Racquet Club Cocktail, 3 days ago Shawn C commented:

    Wondrich's book, Imbibe! notes the Cacao discrepancy in Kappeler, and uses as a source the New York Sun, 1893. Without seeing the particular article, it is hard to tell. I haven't seen the 2011 Imbibe article where Wondrich provides the Racquet Club Cocktail recipe either, but the Imbibe! book's recipe is somewhat anachronistic, using Plymouth gin (even it if was gin made in Plymouth, wouldn't an Old Tom be closer to the style at the time or was Plymouth gin dry by then?) It also is a 50:50 (rather than shown in the recipe on this site.) Wondrich's ingredient notes say, "Use an Italian vermouth" rather than dry vermouth as given here and by Kappeler. So I am not sure what has happened but something seems mixed up. Was "French vermouth: intended rather than "Italian?" I dunno, but it makes a nice cocktail with Plymouth, Regan's orange bitters, and Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao using a mild red vermouth such as Dolin Rouge.

  • Re Napoleon, 4 days ago MOJO1229 commented:

    For gin lovers, the Napoleon is a complex and boozy drink worth making. But it's not an easy drink to make because it's difficult to measure 2 dashes. For the Fernet Branca (FB) I rinsed the Old Fashioned glass but left a very small puddle in the glass. For the others, I poured a VERY small amount in the cap and then to the mixing glass. Next time I will use a dropper for consistency and ease of adjusting the amount. But the FB dash should be less because it can easily overwhelm other ingredients. Because it is difficult to precisely measure two dashes, the resulting taste is likely to vary from batch to batch. Sometimes a diamond, sometimes a stone. Good luck!
    I rated my effort as 4.0--this time.

  • Re Night People, 4 days ago IamNotStiller commented:

    A bit on the sweet side.