Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Drink of the Week: The Declaration Cocktail

“I read somewhere once that, while writing the Declaration of Independence, our forefathers drank eight barrels of beer, wine and spirits,” says James MacWilliams, bartender at Canlis Restaurant in Seattle. “They consumed more alcohol and with less discrimination than we do today. The average was eight ounces of alcohol per person per day. With breakfast, they drank beer and wine; with dinner it was claret and Cognac. And they drank rum all the time.”

With all this in mind, MacWilliams crafted a cocktail that he could imagine the Founding Fathers hoisting to toast their newly minted Declaration of Independence (or to get them through the task of writing it). MacWilliams suggests using a spicy, high-proof rye whiskey like Rittenhouse and a rum with plenty of fruity notes, like Pyrat; for the beer, he suggests “something malty with some body—Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale is my choice; it’s close to a beer Jefferson might have brewed.”

The Declaration
1 oz. rum
3/4 oz. rye whiskey
3/4 oz. brown sugar syrup (equal parts brown sugar and water)
6 oz. chilled beer
Tools: barspoon
Glass: 12 oz. glass, mug or boot

Build drink in glass and stir before serving.

James MacWilliams, Canlis Restaurant, Seattle