The Betula cocktail first appeared on the PDT menu in the Fall of 2007, and a great cocktail for the Fall it is. The name Betula comes from the Latin word for birch, which is infused into the base spirit of rye whiskey.
1 oz. Birch-infused Rittenhouse Bonded Rye Whiskey (recipe below)
1 oz. Matusalem Gran Reserva Rum
0.5 oz. lemon juice
0.5 oz. Grade B maple syrup
Star anise, as garnish
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: chilled coupe
Method: Place everything but the star anise in the shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and garnish with the star anise.
Birch-Infused Rittenhouse (yields approx. 24 oz.)
1.7 oz. Birch bark
750 ml (1 bottle) Rittenhouse Bonded Rye Whiskey
Method: Combine the birch bark and whiskey in a nonreactive container (stainless steel or glass preferred) and infuse for 12 hours at room temperature. Fine strain and bottle.
Together the flavors of the birch, maple syrup, and the hint of star anise are like falling leaves in a cocktail glass. The maple syrup really coaxes out the molasses notes in the Matusalem rum, and the lemon juice provides the crisp tartness to balance out the sweetness of the maple. There's a bit of spice that comes through to remind you there's some rye whiskey there. All in all, if you're looking for a great Autumn sour, look no further.
*This post is part of a series in which Payman takes on the task of making and writing about every cocktail featured in the PDT Cocktail Book, as well as providing an awesome photo of each drink taken by Vanessa Bahmani Photography.
**Got a question? He can be found on twitter @paystyle, you can email him at email@example.com, or simply drop him a comment below.