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Rock and Rye

Photo In this past weekend's Wall Street Journal, Eric Felten looks at Rock and Rye, a supposedly-medicinal pre-mixed cocktail. I was just starting to look into the history of the Rock and Rye when Greg Lindgren of the bar Rye in San Francisco send me some information about it, but now Greg's concoction is mentioned here and Felten did my research for me. Thanks!

At Rye in SF, they serve a Rock and Rye Manhattan and in the winter use it in a Hot Toddy.

One thing that Lindgren mentioned is that he thought Southern Comfort might have been a Rock and Rye in the beginning. I checked with Sean Wachsmand, PR Manager of Southern Comfort about this. He got back to me:

"I’ve done some asking around about your question and we don't think was created to be a rock and rye. We think Rock and Rye's date was after the intro of SoCo, but we’re verifying it.  Rock and Rye’s purpose to be consumed as a medicine and often contained mint of some type. They were also made as bottled goods and Northern in their origin.

Heron (Southern Comfort's inventor) was obviously making a cocktail at first and did not include any digestif herbs in his recipe. He used honey as a sweetener."


So there you have it. Southern Comfort was probably not meant to be medicine, but if you take it as a shot with lime juice, it'll combat scurvy anyway.

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

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