Whiskey Guide – How to Pick a Whiskey


Rye House is a bar and restaurant in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. We’re known primarily for our fantastic Whiskey Back Bar as well as our classic and modern cocktails. We do a lot of volume service. We do a lot of introducing people who are not necessarily big whiskey drinkers into the wonderful world of spirits and beer. And a wide variety of very interesting and very tasty liquors.

I get a chance to take people who are not necessarily big whiskey drinkers and I get to walk them into, you know, their new favorite whiskey or their new favorite drink for the night. I love nothing more than having somebody sitting at the bar, asking them what they like about a drink, a whiskey, a cocktail. And then either making something expressly for them they’re going to love, something that they may not knew they would ever have liked. Or introducing them to some of my favorite spirits. Some of my favorite flavor profiles and things like that from, you know, a wide variety of ryes, bourbons, scotches. And the funny little liquors that don’t fit into any other category.

I’ve had the pleasure of taking a lot of different classes. Whether they’re sponsored by, you know, the brands and liquor companies or through independent associations. The American Small A Association. You know, meeting distillers. Talking about the processes. Talking about, you know, the ingredients. You know, having good personal relationships with people who make your product as well as the people who sit down at your bar and consume them.

As far as drinks go, I love making classics and introducing people to wonderful, well made, time tested recipes that they’ve never been exposed to before. You know, a really well made Manhattan is one of the most beautiful things. But all the variations. The Greenpoints, the Bronx, the Red Hooks.

Anything you can do to give somebody exactly what they want. Like the platonic idea of a great cocktail is why I do, why I get out of bed in the morning. Besides the fact that my cat is sitting on my chest and it’s really uncomfortable.

And now I’m going to teach you how to taste and appreciate some of my favorite drinks.