Rye Noir

This unique concoction was discovered during one of my many Instagram cocktail browsing sessions. The ingredients were so original and so appealing that I knew I had to try it.

Created by Brooklyn-based bartender Grace Roth, it combines rye, basil simple syrup, and stout beer: an eclectic mix of ingredients that are very well balanced.

Photos by ADV Photography


2 oz Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
1 oz basil syrup
½ oz lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 oz stout beer
2 bay leaves

Except for the stout, combine all of the ingredients (use one bay leaf) in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled coupe and top with stout. Garnish with the second bay leaf.

Basil Simple Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup fresh basil leaves

Combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, and ½ cup fresh basil leaves into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and remove at the first sign of a boil. Allow the syrup to cool and strain it into a container and refrigerate.


What really surprised me about this cocktail was how balanced it was. I was completely expecting the stout to take over, but the rye, basil syrup, and lime played together extremely well. The syrup pairs especially well with the rye and it turned out to be a lot more refreshing than I expected.

Add to that the aroma of the bay leaf on top and you have yourself one complex, unique, and delicious drink.

It’s great for spring and summer as the basil is a nice seasonal herb and the stout gives it that patio feel. Perfect refreshment for the warming weather.


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