Hochstadter’s Slow & Low 100-Proof Rock & Rye: The recent surprising death in Santa Barbara of liquor creator-mogul Robert J. Cooper (the Manhattan-raised UCSB grad who created the wildly popular St.-Germain elderflower liqueur) means you must toast his passing with his last creation. That would be this reinvention of an 1884 recipe that adds honey, oranges, Angostura bitters, and rock candy — the nicest way to say sugar, ever — to straight rye whiskey.
Nowhere near as gimmicky as it sounds since it starts with a fine rye base and is amped up to 100 proof, this is basically an old fashioned in a bottle; just add ice and an orange peel. It’s a perfect warm-weather sipper and is versatile in cocktails. If you want more citrus, say, you could revive the Ward Eight (rye, OJ, lemon juice, grenadine) for the election season, since we all might need to pound down a few to get through this one.