Born during the doomed noble experiment known as Prohibition, Templeton Rye whiskey was one of the tastiest forbidden fruits of the day. This liquid gold reflected the excesses of early 1920s America, with its recipe consisting of over 90% rye grain, while the legal minimum was a mere 51%. Aged five years, much longer than others of the day, it’s no wonder Templeton Rye has always been referred to as “the good stuff”, and why it was a clear favorite of Al Capone.
“TR” is distilled at Lawrenceburg Distillers, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, using an original Prohibition era recipe. It is a Small Batch Whiskey, meaning fewer than 20 53-gallon barrels are married together and bottled at one time. These barrels are taken from various levels in the rick house (aging warehouse) to ensure overall consistency, from batch to batch. After maturing in charred, new American white oak barrels, sourced in Missouri, the whiskey is shipped to the Templeton, Iowa facility for bottling, packing and shipping.
Currently, Templeton Rye is distributed in four states – Iowa, Illinois, California, and New York, but is getting nation-wide attention, thanks to HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, and its depiction of Prohibition era Atlantic City, NJ. Mayor Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, played by actor Steve Buscemi, enjoys on-screen cocktails using Templeton Rye. Authentic glimpses into 1920’s cuisine also include finger sandwiches, made popular by the invention of sliced bread, and fruit cocktail cups, due to the availability of grapes, because of a decline in wine production. The Caesar salad was also created in 1924 by restaurateur Caesar Cardini, in Tijuana, Mexico.
Templeton Rye’s aroma and taste begin as luscious punches of spice – cloves & cinnamon take the lead – balanced with beautiful wood notes. The delicious flavors finish long and with hints of caramel. Bottling is at 40% ABV (alcohol by volume), or 80 proof.
1 and ½ ounce Templeton Rye Whiskey
1 ounce Cherry Herring Liqueur
½ ounce Campari
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
¼ ounce fresh orange juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Garnish: 2 Luxardo cherries, skewered
Build all ingredients in a shaker, add ice and shake hard for 8-10 seconds. Double strain into a double old fashioned glass with fresh ice.
– Scotch Whisky Expert, Ray Pearson