The best things come to those who wait

Sometime in the beginning of the summer, I was flipping through a back issue of Saveur magazine when I stumbled upon a delicious cocktail, the Maple Rye Sour.  The recipe is apparently based on the Prospect Park Sour, created by Brad Farran, at the Clover Club in Brooklyn.  I’ve yet to try the original but I was certainly eager to try this adaptation.  Anything with a base of rye whiskey is a friend of mine.  But as I read on, I felt like I had to wait.  Maple syrup, rye, Luxardo Amaro Abano–Amaro means “bitter” in Italian, and refers to a kind of herbal Italian liqueur–are all in the mix and don’t exactly suggest “cocktail by the pool.”  And so I waited.  Patiently.  In all honesty, the summer seemed to fly by so I hardly gave it much thought until we turned the corner on September and I started to feel that familiar autumnal tinge in the air.  Of course in Los Angeles that’s usually replaced quickly with a familiar Santa Ana which makes it feel more like summer than summer does.  But I digress.

We invited another couple over to dinner one Saturday–it happened to be just after the official start of fall–and I decided this would be our house cocktail du jour for the evening.  It’s got a terrific and complex flavor and surprisingly isn’t as “heavy” as I’d imagined, yet it was perfect for a night with a slight chill in the air.  The citrus blends so nicely with the maple and rye, and amaro brings out the earthiness.  I’d like to experiment a bit with the ratio as I felt the maple was too subtle.  I’d waited all that time, after all, I deserved a bit more of that woodsy goodness.  Maybe I should jump in a pile of leaves after for added effect.  That might have to wait awhile.

Maple Rye Sour

(Thanks to Betsy Andrews of Saveur for this interpretation.  Note: she prefers Rittenhouse Rye.)

2 oz. rye whiskey (I used Bulleit)

About 1/2 oz. each, fresh lemon and orange juices

1/4 to 1/2 oz. maple syrup, depending on your preference and affinity for Vermont

1/4 oz. Luxardo Amaro Abano liqueur

In a shaker, combine your ingredients and shake as long as it takes you to retrieve a freshly chilled cocktail glass from the freezer and to hum a verse or two from Autumn in New York.  Strain into your glass, garnish with a twisted orange peel and put on a scarf.

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