The Grave Digger
1½ ounces rye whiskey
½ ounce Strega liqueur
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
3 ounces wasabi soda*
Sprig of mint (or shiso, if available)
Combine the rye, Strega, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker. Fill with ice and shake. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and top with wasabi soda. Roll once between the shaker and Collins glass and garnish with a sprig of mint.
*Six-Minute Wasabi Soda Recipe In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk one cup each of wasabi powder, sugar and water until combined. Let it cool in the refrigerator for a few minutes, then add ½ ounce of the syrup to a quart of soda water and stir gently.
About the Bartender: Stay Classic, Louisville
It’s not the worst thing in the world to be slinging drinks smack dab in the heart of Bourbon country and in the same city where the Old Fashioned cocktail was invented, admits Rye’s Bar Manager Doug Petry.
The beauty of this deep-rooted link to both the cocktail and whiskey worlds provides a solid grounding, a healthy counterbalance to some of the more outlandish fads that pop up in mixology. Inhale-only vaportinis? Not at Petry’s stick.
“We definitely try to push the envelope,” says Petry, “but every drink on our menu can be, in some shape or form, related back to a classic.”