Straight Up: Algonquin Cocktails for the Hungry Thirsty Reader

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This week, in honor of The Kitchn’s Hungry Reader theme, we’re bringing you a cocktail with a bookish handle.

Named for the famous NYC hotel that was once the rendezvous spot for a gang of scathing literary wits, the Algonquin Cocktail is a punchy mix of peppery straight rye, crisp dry vermouth, and zingy pineapple juice.

Although this cocktail didn’t see its first shaking until decades after 1920s luminaries such as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Harpo Marx, Alexander Woollcott, and George S. Kaufman gathered around the infamous Round Table, the Algonquin still carries retro cred: it features straight rye, a pre-Prohibition ingredient that’s been enjoying a 21st-Century comeback.

Straight rye is an American whiskey made with at least 51% rye. Drier and smoother than bourbon, and decidedly spicy-tasting, this old-time spirit had long been pushed off into a dusty corner of cocktail history (although old stalwarts such as Old Overholt and Jim Beam Rye have always stayed relatively easy to find).

But the last few years have seen a change: Interest – and availability – has grown as premium small-batch makers such as Old Potrero, Van Winkle, and Michter’s have arrived on the scene, ratcheting-up the taste and glamor factor. We think Dorothy Parker would approve.

Algonquin Cocktail
makes 2 drinks

3 ounces straight rye whiskey
2 ounces dry vermouth
2 ounces pineapple juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into cocktail glasses.