You got the kids back to school. You survived the 105 degree late-August heat. And now — it’s time for a drink. This cocktail, with red plums, sage, and rye whiskey, is like a grown-up whiskey sour. Rye whiskey, a cousin to Tennessee whiskey (aka Jack Daniels) and bourbon, is a sort of forgotten American classic. Whiskey made from a rye mash has been around for hundreds of years — George Washington used to distill it at Mount Vernon. Many early cocktails, like the old-fashioned and the sazerac, called for rye whiskey, but it fell out of favor after prohibition.
The Summer Sage makes 1 drink
6 slices red plum, as ripe and juicy as possible
4 to 5 sage leaves, stems removed
1/4 to 1/2 ounce simple syrup (more for a sweeter drink, less for a more pronounced whiskey taste.)
Splash (about 1/8 ounce) fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces rye whiskey
Add the plums, sage, and simple syrup to the bottom of a shaker, and muddle (or smoosh vigorously with the back of a spoon) until the plums form a nice mush. Fill the shaker with ice and add the lemon juice and whiskey. Shake and then double strain into a cocktail glass.
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