At the moment, nothing says "I'm a Cocktail Person" more than rye whiskey. In fact, you will probably know you are in a true Cocktail Bar when, on the Cocktail Menu, you notice rye whiskey as an ingredient in more than one drink. Of course, most people -- though they may enjoy cocktails -- are not necessarily Cocktail People. And so rye is a bit of a mystery.
Think of it this way: Rye whiskey has an awful lot in common with the cool, Emmy-winning television series "Mad Men." Both are critically acclaimed, significantly different from the usual fare and raved about by a relatively small number of devoted fans. Many people have heard a lot about them but perhaps haven't given either a try just yet.
There is a lot of confusion about what exactly rye is. Newbies to the spirit might feel a little like "Mad Men" secretary-turned-copywriter Peggy Olson on her first day at the fictional early-1960s Madison Avenue ad agency, Sterling Cooper. After poor Peggy has been harassed by the guys and is advised to show off "those darling little ankles," her supervisor, Miss Holloway, suggests how to deal with her new boss, the dashing, charming antihero, Don Draper: "Keep a fifth of something in your desk. Mr. Draper drinks rye."