The Year in Food 2007

Why Rye?

Ordering a Sazerac used to elicit blank stares from bartenders. But the rye-based drink became this year’s huckleberry cocktail, no bar complete without one. Rye, the original American whiskey distilled by George Washington himself, came back in style after decades of corn-based bourbon domination. Driven by an interest in artisanal ryes from brands like Anchor Brewing’s Old Potrero, Michter’s, and Black Maple Hill, bars began offering flights, tastings, and Manhattans and Old Fashioneds made the classic way, with rye, rather than bourbon. Cocktail bloggers suddenly had less reason to feel smarter than everyone else. —Lessley Anderson