Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Curiosity Cabinet #5: Jaquin's Rock and Rye

The curiosity cabinet has a little hiatus of late but with so many cookery products around it would never be dormant for long. Those who know me are probably familiar with my interest in premixed drinks, the kind that Gordon's made for decades in the form of their Shake cocktails, and that are arguably still around incarnated as alcopops such as Bacardi Breezers and Smirnoff Ice, not to mention canned premixed gin and tonic and vodka/rum/whisky-and-cokes that are available.

A selection of "Ready to Drink" (pre-mixed) Cocktails
One cocktail I have never seen a premix of though is an Old Fashioned—that was, until I came across Jacquin's Rock & Rye.*

This is made by Charles Jacquin & CIE., Co. a family-owned business established in 1884 that bills itself as being "America's Oldest Cordial Producer". They also make Polish Vodka Pravda.

Jacquin's Rock & Rye is bottled at 40%ABV and is a combination of Kentucky Rye, Orange (from Florida) and Rock Candy (Sugar). It dates back to the early post-Prohibition days and comes from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Floating in the bottle are an array of citrus wedges and some green cherries, however after sitting in the whisky these have lost most of their colour and are unappetising shades of brown and off-green. But appearances can be deceptive so how does it taste?

The Taste
The predominant flavours of Jacquin's Rock & Rye are sugar and bitters. The usually complexity the whisky brings to this usually superb cocktail is pretty much lost, although the warmth is still there and there is a little grain from the whisky. You get some of the odd fruit/citrus flavours from browning fruit inside the bottle. To me this tastes like an Old Fashioned with the middle removed. I struggled to finish the glass and so couldn't really recommend it, although I know folks rave about it, even claiming it has medicinal properties**. Really if you want an Old Fashioned you're best to make one from scratch and here is an excellent recipe:

Jacquin's Rock and Rye is available from The Whisky Exchange and The Drink shop for around £22 for 75cl.

*In fairness to Jacquin's they do not suggest that it is a substitute for an Old Fashioned that is just what many third parties have described it as.
** Read comments here.

1 comment:

  1. cheers! this cocktail is the best I've ever taste in my life!