THE Angleterre COCKTAIL is A MYSTERY. I have looked far and wide to place the cocktail, but to no avail. There are similar cocktails with additional or substituted ingredientS, though none follow the simplicity that is the THIRD cocktail in Knut Sundin's book: The angleterre.
I'd like to think I just stumbled upon something unknown... something that hasn't been made in decades. But I have the sinking suspicion that its just because I am just getting started on this journey. I searched the inter-webs for answers. But nothing appeared. I found similar recipes like the "Ward Eight" - but that recipe included orange juice. I found a drink called "The New Yorker" which I think was just made up - but that also included simply syrup. There was "The Scofflaw", "The Bourbon Daisy", and more... but none were as simple as Sundin's "Angleterre."
Rye whiskey, lemon juice, grenadine and bitters. It IS simple - but the flavor is there. The balance is there. The classic feel is there. Especially when you use an excellent high-proof rye.
I am a bourbon man. Rye has never been a favorite of mine. It is a bit too spicy for my palate. I prefer the smooth, full-body flavor of bourbon not the drier bite of rye.
But I want to extend myself and my palate. This journey of making 200 drinks is really about learning and experiencing as much as possible in the world of cocktails. After researching and tasting more than a couple different ryes at a local high-end liquor shop, I have come to understand and appreciate its flavors.
I also learned a thing or too...
But what exactly is the difference between bourbon and rye whiskey?
The "type" of whiskey really depends on the grain, the distillation process and type of cask it is aged in. Slight changes in ANY of these areas can vastly change the taste of the final product.
Whiskey is made by fermenting "grain mash." You can use grains such as barley, corn and others. This combination of grain is called the "mash bill." The distiller adds water and heat which creates sugar which ferments into alcohol. It is then distilled and placed into wooden casks to age.
Bourbon's mash bill must be made of AT LEAST 51% corn and MUST be made in the United States of America. It also has a maximum amount of alcohol allowable before being placed into a cask.
Rye is made from a mash bill of AT LEAST 51% (you guessed it) rye.
I selected Wild Turkey Rye 101 because it is a work-horse of a rye. Its notes are balanced and straightforward and it is good quality. I can use it with a bevy of classic cocktails and know each time that the rye won't overpower the other ingredients.
Note: most of the classic cocktails were made from rye long before bourbon. Bourbon is just "easier" to drink than rye whiskey.
Make your own Grenadine
Do you have Rose's Grenadine at your home bar? You do? Well, throw it out immediately. It is not grenadine. It is mostly high-fructose corn syrup and doesn't taste a thing like grenadine. Don't worry, early on I didn't know that either. But when I found out how easy it was to make my own grenadine, I never looked back.
Grenadine is a syrup made primarily from pomegranate juice. Recipes vary, but most include orange blossom water and sugar. Through a bit of tinkering with other's recipes, here is mine. It includes 2 drops of absinthe. Not sure why... so you can omit that if you want. I just like a little bit of that herbal essence.
~ My Grenadine Recipe ~
Notes: POM is a great pomegranate juice you can buy at most grocery stores. You can skip the orange-flower water and absinthe if you are in a bind.
Getting The Angleterre balanced was easier than some of the previous cocktails. Mostly because it has all the elements of a classic cocktail: spirit, sour, sweet and bitter. It is easier to play with these elements because you can taste them separately and judge prior.
I again will stress using FRESH juices. Juice your damn fruit at the time of making the cocktail. You are an adult. If you have some left over, use a lidded bottle to store for a couple days.
For being a fairly simple cocktail - the Angleterre's flavor has complexity. On first sip, you taste the lemon and grenadine, then as the flavors washes over your mouth, the spice of the rye swims through.
It is a fun cocktail to drink over time because the notes of the rye change.
Modern Angleterre Cocktail
1½ oz. Wild Turkey 101 Rye
¾ oz, Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
½ oz. Housemade Grenadine
2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled and properly diluted. Strain into Coupe glass. Garnish with lemon peel.
J.B. is the founder of 200 Drinks. He spends most of his day working as a design leader at a large technology company but finds time in his schedule to enjoy a drink and write about it. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, son and pup.