About Mister Katz's Rock & Rye Whiskey
A drink made by sweetening straight rye whiskey with rock candy and citrus peels, Rock & Rye traces its history back to the 19th century, when stern-faced barkeeps would pour a shot of rye and let customers add their own honey or rock candy, creating a drink similar to an Old Fashioned.
By the turn of the century, Rock & Rye blurred the line between refreshment and remedy. Pharmacists prescribed Rock & Rye to snuff out coughs, colds, sore throats, bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia — no ailment was too great or too small for Rock & Rye’s therapeutic relief. In 1890, the Memphis Medicinal Monthly stated that when a man "gets within twenty yards of the door of the saloon he commences coughing, and he puts his hand over his chest with an agonized expression and slips in the door and takes some Rock and Rye."
Rock & Rye’s reputation as a panacea continued well after Prohibition. At a 1952 conference for the Common Cold Foundation, Dr. Thomas Ward, a prominent Johns Hopkins virologist, was asked what medicine he preferred to use against rhinovirus. "Personally, my favorite treatment is old Maryland Rock & Rye," he replied. Nearly two decades earlier, Earl Hines and his orchestra recorded a dance chart entitled "Rock and Rye," which was penned by arranger Jimmy Mundy (who was later hired by Benny Goodman).
A century or so ago, finding rock and rye was easier than it is today. "I believe any saloon worth its salt made its own rock and rye," says Allen Katz, the founder of the New York Distilling Company and the namesake behind Mr. Katz’s Rock & Rye. Katz’s whiskey is made using a secret recipe of rye whiskey, rock candy sugar, sour cherries, cinnamon and a wisp of citrus. Once the ingredients are married together, the whiskey is filtered and brought to proof before being bottled by hand.
Mr. Katz’s Rock & Rye has a warm aroma of maple syrup, vanilla, citrus and Nerds candy. Notes of sweet caramel, milk chocolate and butterscotch on the palate are balanced by a peppery finish accented by hints of cinnamon.
Our Rock & Rye "fits in very neatly into our unwritten philosophy of making spirits that are purposefully different," says Katz.
Pick up a bottle today!
Whiskey origin dates back to Ireland more than 600 years ago and has become the fastest-growing spirit category on the planet since then.
It is produced worldwide from scotch, Irish whiskey, bourbon, rye, Japanese whisky, and other types. Each has a distinct flavor profile due to numerous factors from different types of climate, ingredients, distilling methods, and the aging process.
Check out our impressive selection of whisk(e)ys, find your new favorite in Top 10 whisk(e)ys, or explore our treasury of rare & hard to find whisk(e)ys.