TotC: Black & Tan

Drink number six of our Tales of the Cocktail roundup will be brought to you by bon vivant Allen Katz. To see the beginning of the Tales of the Cocktail posts, click here or just go to the Tales of the Cocktail Category to see all of the posts.

Arguably the event that I was the most excited to attend, with the exception of the Lost Ingredients seminar, was the seminar on American Rye Whiskey. Was it because it afforded me yet one more opportunity to torment Gary Regan? Was it because rye is probably my favorite spirit and any chance to gain insight into this “forgotten” spirit would be cherished? Methinks a bit of both, but in reality it was probably due to the bottles of Sazerac rye that were sure to be floating around.

Upon entering the symposium, my expectations were fulfilled, and then some, for not only were there bottles of Sazerac’s lovely 6 year old rye on the tables, but also the very elusive 18 year old beauty. As you may have read before, this is one 18yr old that I would risk jail time to bring home.

We sampled a snort of Sazerac 6 yr, listened to Harlen Wheatley talk about the process of making the Sazeracs, and then tried MANY rounds of Sazerac 18 year (while admonishing Harlen for the lack of availability in Washington).

While Allen, Gary and Harlen bantered, we savored a cocktail recipe that Allen dug up from the Baltimore Country Club, circa 1898.

Now, through the marvels of technology (the internet and Gutenberg, and a special thanks to Ann for the recipe cards) you too, can pretend that you were in NOLA, and enjoy a Black & Tan.

Don’t confuse Allen’s drink with the Guinness beverage of the same name. This is a lovely libation that has the beautiful spicy flavor of a good rye, while still being refreshing enough to be enjoyed on a hot summer day.

2 oz Sazerac rye whiskey
¼ oz simple syrup
¼ oz fresh lime juice
5 blackberries
8 mint leaves
ginger beer

in a mixing glass, muddle blackberries with simple syrup, lime and mint
add Sazerac rye and shake vigorously over ice
strain into a Collins glass filled with ice
top with ginger beer
garnish with two fresh blackberries on a cocktail pick

When picking out your ginger beer, read the label to ensure that you don’t pick one out that is mainly pineapple juice (you’d be surprised at how many are). If you can’t find a half decent ginger beer, do what I’ve had to do, and make your own. It’s worth the effort.

Allen Katz and Gary Regan

Picture taken by:
Jamie Boudreau



~ by Jamie Boudreau on August 6, 2007.

4 Responses to “TotC: Black & Tan”

  1. […] Now, barely twenty-four hours after I picked up a bottle of Sazerac rye, Jamie Boudreau dropped the Black & Tan, one of the drinks in his continuing Tales of the Cocktail gloating recapping. (If you […]

  2. […] didn’t have to think long, considering that both Jamie and Marleigh covered a blackberry, mint and rye concoction that Jamie learned about at Tales of the […]

  3. Sorry for the late reply, but as a lover of ginger beer (what? I grew up in Bermuda, so sue me, and, yes, I do love the dark and stormy), I must ask, is Bermuda-style stone ginger beer or Jamaica-style ginger beer the better base?
    Cheers. – Rob

  4. Rob:
    I make my own ginger beer, as the selection of commercial ginger beer in Seattle is non-exsistant.

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