There are many wonderful perks about living where we do—it’s very quiet and suitably far from the city, so we can see stars and hear crickets at night. We have a garden and raise our own chickens but aren’t so far away from town that we miss out on interesting activities. There are, however, a few downsides; foremost among them, at least for me, is rattlesnakes. We find a few every year—especially in my garden—and it never becomes more fun. I am not generally fearful of snakes, but that whispery, papery rattling noise sends a shiver down my spine every time I hear it.
Fortunately, this drink isn’t nearly so menacing as an actual Diamondback. I found this cocktail via Paul Clarke, who in turn discovered it through Chuck Taggart, who was sent the drink by Murray Stenson (which he found in Ted Saucier’s Bottom’s Up). If you’re a cocktail nerd (and you probably are), I’m sure your drink antennae are twitching by now. That’s a pretty great pedigree of recommendations for any drink, and the fall-ready flavors of rye whiskey and applejack make this the perfect time to give it a try.
1½ oz rye whiskey
¾ oz applejack (such as Laird’s Bonded)
¾ oz Chartreuse (yellow or green)
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir well, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.
This cocktail is a bit deceptive; it’s body and color are very light, which don’t necessarily belie the fact that this drink is solid, potent liquor through and through. The spicy character of the rye is a natural companion for the sweet and fiery applejack, and the herbal notes of the Chartreuse round out the rye and applejack with herbal and floral flavors. (I used green Chartreuse here because it’s my favorite but I hear that the yellow is equally good, though different.) Overall this is a robust, delicious drink that would be perfectly at home at any Halloween gathering—offering just a little whisper of danger alongside a hefty thrill.