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Top 20 Rye Whiskey Cocktails to Drink

Rye whiskey cocktails mix bold, spicy flavors with unique ingredients, creating drinks that stand out. Loving the depth and character in each sip, these drinks are perfect for anyone looking to explore beyond the ordinary. They cater to all, from seasoned aficionados to newcomers eager for something special. Each recipe offers a refreshing take on the traditional, making any moment memorable. Find your favorite in this roundup.

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Manhattan

manhattan cocktail

Experience the timeless allure of the Manhattan cocktail. This classic drink combines the bold flavors of rye whiskey with sweet vermouth and a dash of aromatic bitters. Served in a chilled glass and garnished with a maraschino cherry, the Manhattan is a symbol of sophistication and refinement. Loved for its smooth and complex taste, this rye whiskey cocktail is a staple at upscale bars and elegant soirées. Let the rich and harmonious blend of flavors whisk you away to a bygone era of glamour and indulgence. The Manhattan can be made with either rye whiskey or bourbon, but this version favors rye whiskey. Take a sip, embrace the sophistication, and toast to the timeless allure of the Manhattan, one of the most famous classic cocktails.


Sazerac

a glass of Sazerac cocktail with ingredients as background

Speaking of classic cocktails, immerse yourself in the heritage of New Orleans with the captivating Sazerac cocktail. This iconic drink is a blend of rye whiskey, absinthe, a touch of sugar, and aromatic bitters. Served in an absinthe-rinsed glass and garnished with a lemon twist, the Sazerac is a complex and aromatic delight. Loved for its bold flavors and historical significance, this cocktail is a must-try for those seeking a taste of NOLA’s vibrant cocktail culture, as well as one of the most popular rye whiskey cocktails of all time. Embark on a journey through time and savor the unique charm of the Sazerac, where the spirit of New Orleans comes alive in every sip.


Vieux Carre

Vieux Carre Cocktail

Step into the heart of the French Quarter with the sophisticated Vieux Carre cocktail. Named after the historic neighborhood of New Orleans, this refined drink features a blend of rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine, and angostura bitters. Served in a chilled glass and garnished with a lemon twist, the Vieux Carre is a harmonious fusion of flavors. Loved for its complexity and depth, this rye whiskey cocktail pays homage to the cultural melting pot of New Orleans. Embark on a tasteful voyage and let the Vieux Carre transport you to the enchanting streets of the Big Easy.


Toronto

a glass with toronto cocktail and carved ice cube inside

Indulge in the rich and robust flavors of the Toronto cocktail. This sophisticated cocktail features rye whiskey, Fernet-Branca, a touch of simple syrup, and angostura bitters. Served over ice and garnished with an orange twist, the Toronto is a bold and aromatic delight. Loved for its perfect balance of sweetness and herbal notes, this cocktail is a favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Take a sip and embark on a journey of flavor where the layers of rye whiskey and Fernet-Branca intertwine in perfect harmony. Discover the allure of the Toronto and let its sophisticated charm captivate your palate.


Whiskey Sour

Sweet Homemade Whiskey Amarreto Sour Cocktail Recipe with a Cherry

Elevate your whiskey experience with the timeless Whiskey Sour cocktail. This classic drink combines the smoothness of rye whiskey with the zing of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a hint of sweetness.  Served over ice and garnished with a cherry and an orange slice, the Whiskey Sour is a enlivening and tangy delight. Loved for its simplicity and versatility, this cocktail is perfect for both casual gatherings and formal occasions. Take a sip, let the flavors dance on your tongue, and savor the timeless appeal of the Whiskey Sour. You can use any good rye whiskey in this drink, but you should check out our favorite whiskies for a sour to find the perfect balance!


Rye Tai

Rye Tai
Source: recipe.awesomedrinks.com

Escape to a tropical paradise with the tantalizing Rye Tai cocktail. This playful twist on the classic Mai Tai features the bold flavors of rye whiskey, tropical fruit juices, and a splash of citrus. Served over crushed ice and garnished with a pineapple wedge and a cherry, the Rye Tai is a vibrant and uplifting delight. Loved for its fusion of tropical and whiskey flavors, this cocktail brings a taste of the exotic to your glass. Rye whiskey cocktails aren’t known for being tropical, but this twist on a classic cocktail makes a case for it. Close your eyes, take a sip, and let the Rye Tai transport you to a sun-soaked beach, where relaxation and enjoyment await.


Ward Eight

ward eight decorated with citrus lemon in martini cocktails glass

Experience the timeless elegance of the Ward Eight cocktail. This classic cocktail combines the smoothness of rye whiskey with the tangy sweetness of freshly squeezed lemon juice and orange juices, balanced by a touch of grena. Served in a chilled glass and garnished with a cherry and an orange twist, the Ward Eight is a harmonious symphony of flavors. Loved for its balanced and pleasant taste, this cocktail is a favorite choice for both whiskey enthusiasts and cocktail aficionados. Embrace the sophistication and let the Ward Eight transport you to a bygone era of refined indulgence.


Scofflaw

Scofflaw Cocktail garnish with orange twist

Unleash your rebellious spirit with the captivating Scofflaw cocktail. This Prohibition-era cocktail blends rye whiskey with dry vermouth, a touch of grenadine, lemon juice, and a dash of angostura bitters. Served over ice and garnished with a lemon twist, the Scofflaw is a harmonious fusion of sweet, tart, and bitter flavors. Loved for its intriguing backstory and complex taste, this rye whiskey cocktail embodies the spirit of defiance and craftsmanship. Take a sip, raise your glass to the renegades of the past, and let the Scofflaw awaken the rebel within.


Trinidad Sour

Trinidad Sour
Source: shakedrinkrepeat.com

Embark on a flavor adventure with the bold and intriguing Trinidad Sour cocktail. This unconventional drink features the intensity of Angostura bitters, balanced by the richness of rye whiskey, lemon juice, and a touch of sweetener like simple syrup. Served over ice and garnished with a lemon twist, the Trinidad Sour is a unique sensory experience. Loved for its distinctive flavor profile and lingering complexity, this is one of our favorite rye whiskey cocktails for those with adventurous palates. Take a sip, let the layers of flavors unfold on your tongue, and let the Trinidad Sour redefine your perception of cocktail craftsmanship.


Whiskey Highball

two highball cocktails

Elevate your whiskey experience with the novel simplicity of the Whiskey Highball. This classic combination features rye whiskey paired with a sparkling mixer like ginger ale or soda water. Served over ice and garnished with a citrus twist, the Whiskey Highball is a crisp and sparkling delight. Loved for its effortless elegance and versatility, this cocktail is a go-to choice for rye whiskey enthusiasts looking for a lighter and cooling option. This is one of the easiest classic cocktails to make. Embrace the uncomplicated beauty of the Whiskey Highball and let its fizz and smooth flavors bring a touch of sophistication to any occasion.


Greenpoint

greenpoint cocktail garnish with lemon twist

Embrace the allure of the Greenpoint cocktail, a tribute to the eponymous neighborhood in Brooklyn. This modern classic cocktail combines rye whiskey with the herbal complexity of yellow Chartreuse and sweet vermouth. Served in a chilled glass and garnished with a lemon twist, the Greenpoint is a sophisticated and intriguing drink. Loved for its intricate layers of flavors and its nod to New York’s cocktail renaissance, this drink has gained a loyal following among mixology enthusiasts. Take a sip, savor the harmonious blend of ingredients, and let the Greenpoint transport you to the vibrant streets of Brooklyn.


Full Monte

full monte cocktail on the Rocks with a Cherry Garnish

Unleash your senses with the daring Full Monte cocktail. This captivating cocktail combines the boldness of rye whiskey with the warmth of Montenegro amaro and the richness of sweet vermouth. Served in a chilled glass and garnished with an orange twist, the Full Monte is a complex and alluring experience. Loved for its intricate blend of bitter and sweet notes, this cocktail is a favorite among whiskey connoisseurs and those seeking a sophisticated and indulgent sip. Take a leap into the unknown, embrace the complexity, and let the Full Monte redefine your whiskey journey and elevate your experience of rye whiskey cocktails.


Smoked Rye Old Fashioned Cocktail

Smoked Rye Old Fashioned Cocktail
Source: knobcreek.com

This elevated rendition of the classic Old Fashioned takes the robustness of rye whiskey and infuses it with an enticing smoky twist. With the addition of aromatic bitters, a touch of simple syrup, and a captivating cloud of smoke, this cocktail tantalizes the senses. Served over a large ice cube and garnished with an orange peel, the Smoked Rye Old Fashioned is a sensory experience like no other. Loved for its rich and complex flavors, this cocktail is a testament to the artistry of mixology and of rye whiskey. Take a moment to appreciate the smoky aroma, relish the depth of flavor, and let the Smoked Rye Old Fashioned envelop you in its captivating embrace.


Walk the Line

Walk the Line garnish with the cherry and orange peel.
Source: farmwifedrinks.com

Embark on a harmonious journey of flavors with the mesmerizing Walk the Line cocktail. This masterpiece brings together the smoothness of rye whiskey with the warmth of honey, balanced by the zesty freshness of lemon juice. Served over ice and garnished with a sprig of rosemary, this cocktail is a symphony of taste and aroma. Loved for its impeccable balance and tantalizing complexity, the Walk the Line invites you to explore the boundaries of your palate. Take a sip, follow the path of flavor, and let this rye whiskey cocktail guide you to new heights of indulgence.


The Al Capone

The Al Capone garnish with an orange twist.
Source: saveur.com

Unleash your inner gangster with the bold and charismatic Al Capone cocktail. This seductive drink combines the richness of rye whiskey with the bittersweet allure of Campari and the herbal complexity of sweet vermouth. Served in a chilled glass and garnished with an orange twist, the Al Capone exudes sophistication and charm. Loved for its fearless flavor profile and its tribute to a notorious era, this cocktail captures the essence of a bygone time. Take a sip, embrace your inner mobster, and let the Al Capone transport you to the secret speakeasies of the past.


Brooklyn

Brooklyn cocktail garnish with Luxardo maraschino cherry
Source: liquor.com

Embrace the spirit of the Big Apple with the captivating Brooklyn cocktail. This modern classic blends the spiciness of rye whiskey with the herbal and floral notes of dry vermouth, balanced by a touch of bitterness from Amer Picon or an alternative. Served in a chilled glass and garnished with a cherry, the Brooklyn is a tribute to the vibrant cocktail culture of its namesake borough. Loved for its complexity and its ability to please the adventurous palate, this cocktail invites you to explore the endless possibilities of rye whiskey. Take a sip, toast to the spirit of innovation, and let the Brooklyn inspire your own creative journey.


Sweet & Vicious

Sweet & Vicious cocktail garnish with apple fan.
Source: greenhourphl.com

Indulge in the seductive duality of flavors with the captivating Sweet & Vicious cocktail. This tantalizing cocktail combines the smoothness of rye whiskey with the sweet heat of jalapeño-infused syrup, balanced by the zesty freshness of lime juice. Served over ice and garnished with a jalapeño slice, this cocktail is a play on contrasts that ignites the senses. Loved for its bold and daring nature, the Sweet & Vicious is a favorite among those seeking a unique and thrilling rye whiskey experience.  Take a sip, let the flavors dance on your tongue, and surrender to the alluring charm of the Sweet & Vicious.


The Roycroft

The Roycroft cocktail
Source: imbibemagazine.com

Savor the elegance of The Roycroft cocktail, a refined drink that marries the complexity of rye whiskey with the floral and citrus notes of elderflower liqueur, balanced by a hint of citrusy brightness. Served in a chilled glass and garnished with a lemon twist, this cocktail is a masterpiece of sophistication. With each sip, allow the harmonious blend of ingredients to transport you to a world of refined indulgence. The Roycroft cocktail is a testament to the artistry of mixology, where every ingredient has been carefully chosen to create a symphony of flavors. Raise your glass, embrace the allure of The Roycroft, and let its timeless charm elevate your cocktail experience to new heights.


Le Fatigue

Le Fatigue cocktail
Source: imbibemagazine.com

Discover the ultimate relaxation in a glass with the enchanting Le Fatigue cocktail. This soothing cocktail combines the warmth of rye whiskey with the comforting embrace of coffee liqueur, balanced by a touch of sweetness and a hint of vanilla. Served over ice and garnished with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg, Le Fatigue is a decadent and indulgent treat. Loved for its ability to unwind and rejuvenate, this cocktail is the perfect companion for those moments of well-deserved respite. Take a sip, let the flavors envelop your senses, and allow Le Fatigue to transport you to a state of blissful serenity.


Blinker

Blinker cocktail on a wooden table with slice grapefruit and Raspberry Syrup
Source: drinkinghobby.com

Awaken your taste buds with the vibrant and zesty Blinker cocktail. This fresh drink combines the spiciness of rye whiskey with the tangy brightness of grapefruit juice and a touch of raspberry syrup.  Served over ice and garnished with a grapefruit twist, the Blinker is a burst of flavor that invigorates the palate. Loved for its lively and invigorating nature, this cocktail is a favorite among those seeking a unique and dynamic drinking experience. Take a sip, let the soothing citrus dance on your tongue, and let the Blinker spark your senses to life.


A Rye Whiskey Cocktail, served in a classic lowball glass on an elegant wooden bar counter. The drink is dark amber in color, garnished with a twist of orange peel and a single large ice cube, showcasing the rich flavor of the rye whiskey. The background features a sophisticated bar setting with soft, moody lighting, and shelves lined with premium whiskey bottles, creating an atmosphere of refinement and warmth.

20 Rye Whiskey Cocktail Recipes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
4.7 from 3 votes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Rye Whiskey Cocktails
Servings: 1
Author: Paul Kushner
Discover the best Rye Whiskey Cocktails. Spice up your drink selection with bold, unique flavors. Explore now.

Instructions

  • Pick your favorite recipe
  • Gather all the needed ingredients
  • Prep a rye whiskey cocktail in less than 5 minutes
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us know how it was!
Top 20 Rye Whiskey Cocktails to Drink
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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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15 Most Popular Aperol Cocktails to Try