Lowder Specs

An Easy List of 178 (Modern) Classics to Know – 2016 Edition

American Whiskey


Both bourbon and rye whiskey are aged in brand new charred American oak barrels, and so they’re woody, a little smoky, and ripping with tannins. Bourbon is primarily made from corn, though, and so it’s a little softer and sweeter than rye.

Personally, I find bourbon to work a bit better than rye in shaken cocktails, mostly because rye is just so aggressive. It’s rare that a guest wants a shaken cocktail with the amount of tannin and spirit intensity that rye offers. By contrast, rye works extremely well in stirred cocktails, where its fierce characteristics allow it to stand up to vermouths and liqueurs. It allows for a structured, complex cocktail in environments where bourbon can sometimes be too flabby or get lost in the drink altogether.

That having been said, both have their place, and both have tasty cocktails to offer in either category. Here are a few of my favorites:


Bourbon Shaken


1. Gold Rush

a. 2 oz. Bourbon

b. .75 oz. Fresh Lemon

c. .75 oz. Honey Syrup (2:1)

i. Shake/Fine strain/Large rock


2. Kentucky Buck

a. 2 oz. Bourbon

b. .75 oz. Fresh Lemon

c. .5 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1)

d. 2 dashes Angostura

e. 1 strawberry (muddled)

i. Shake/Fine strain/Collins with ice/Top with ginger beer/Lemon wheel


3. Paper Plane

a. .75 oz. Bourbon

b. .75 oz. Aperol

c. .75 oz. Amaro Nonino

d. .75 oz. Lemon

i. Shake/Fine strain/Coupe/No garnish


Bourbon Stirred


1. Fancy Free

a. 2.25 oz. Bourbon

b. .5 oz. Maraschino

c. 2 dashes Angostura

d. 1 dash Orange bitters

i. Short stir/Large rock/Orange twist


2. Grandfather

a. 1 oz. Bourbon

b. 1 oz. Bonded Apple Brandy

c. 1 oz. Italian Rosso Vermouth

d. 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

e. 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

i. Stir/Strain/Coupe


3. Preakness Cocktail

a. 1.75 oz. Overproof Bourbon

b. .75 oz. Italian Rosso Vermouth

c. .25 oz. Benedictine

d. 1 dash Aromatic Bitters

i. Stir/Strain up/Coupe/Orange twist


Rye Shaken


1. New York Sour

a. 2 oz. Rye

b. .75 oz. Fresh Lemon

c. .75 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1)

d. 1 Egg White

e. .5 oz. Pinot Noir or comparable wine

i. Dry shake everything but wine/Shake with ice/Fine train/Rocks glass/Large ice/Carefully float the wine over the top of the drink


2. Ward Eight

a. 2 oz. Rye

b. .5 oz. Fresh Lemon

c. .5 oz. Fresh Orange

d. 5 oz. Grenadine

i. Shake/Fine Strain/Coupe


3. Whiskey Smash

a. 2 oz. Rye

b. .75 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1)

c. .25 oz. Fresh Lemon

d. 3 Lemon wedges

e. 8 mint leaves

i. Muddle/Shake/Fine Strain/Rocks Glass/Large ice/Mint garnish


Rye Stirred


1. American Trilogy

a. 1 oz. Rye

b. 1 oz. Apple Brandy

c. Barspoon Demerara Syrup (1:1)

d. 2 dashes Orange Bitters

i. Build in a large rocks glass/Large ice cube/Stir briefly/Orange and Lemon twists


2. Old Pal

a. 2 oz. Rye

b. .75 oz. Dry Vermouth

c. .75 oz. Campari

i. Stir/Strain/Coupe/No garnish


3. Red Hook

a. 2 oz. Rye

b. .5 oz. Punt e Mes

c. .25 oz. Maraschino Liqueur

i. Stir/Strain/Coupe/No garnish