As a follow up to my post about The Old Fashioned Framework, I wanted to share a creation that I’m pretty excited about. I was at the market a couple weeks back and noticed some Faygo Original Rock & Rye Soda, and the lights began to flash. I’ve always been a proponent of reducing sodas down into syrups for use in cocktails, as long as they’re sugar cane-based . I also try to use local ingredients in my cocktails whenever possible. Being that Faygo is a long-standing Michigan Company headquartered in Detroit and that the “Original” varietal of Rock & Rye is made with pure sugar cane, I was pretty damn excited. Not to mention, Rock & Rye was one of my favorite sodas growing up.
The flavor is unique, dabbling somewhere in the cream soda/cherry cola realm. I reduced 2 bottles (24oz total) down to about 8 oz over medium-high heat. I proceeded to try this syrup in varying proportions with several spirits and concluded I liked it most with apple brandy and bourbon.
From there, I wanted to add one more element to counter the sweetness of the syrup. I tried various permutations of bitters, but couldn’t find anything that matched my excitement for the other ingredients. As I looked through my cabinet for ideas, I came across my bottle of Bitter Truth Pimento Dram . I liked the idea of using a subtle blend of spice flavors to compliment the sweetness of the bourbon and syrup.
The color is a deep red, consistent with the soda. The cherry, vanilla, and spice notes are all present, but subtle and balanced. The bourbon takes a seat in the back, but provides the necessary heat to know your drinking a cocktail. Finally, I garnished with an orange peel, expressing oil on the surface and rim to give the drink some freshness, while balancing the aroma of spice with a bit of citrus.
The Faygo Boat Song
2.25oz Bourbon (I like Corner Creek here)
.75oz Faygo Rock & Rye Syrup
1tsp Pimento Dram
Add the dram to a chilled double old fashioned glass and rotate to coat the sides, retaining the Liqueur. Add the bourbon and syrup and stir. Add a couple large ice cubes and stir until cold and slightly diluted. Garnish with an orange as described above.
You’re probably wondering about the name. While digging through some Faygo history in search of something unique to call this one, I came across this 1970’s commercial. It features a Boblo Boat full of people singing “The Faygo Boat Song”. It’s amazing.
Fairy tales and snowball fights,