Rye on Fire [Cocktail Recipe]

Wait for the heat with this drink created by Lenny Heykants, bar manager at El Chingon Mexican Bistro in Denver. “This cocktail starts citrusy and floral on the palate. The spice creeps in on the back end while still being crisp and refreshing,” Heykants says.

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  • 1½ oz. Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond rye (or other high-proof straight rye)
  • ¾ oz. Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile liqueur
  • ½ oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ oz. cinnamon-agave syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 dropper Bittermens Hellfire
    Habanero shrub
  • 1 oz. citrusy and floral IPA (such as 4 Noses Brewing Company ‘Bout Damn Time IPA)
  • Lemon twist and dried chile de árbol for garnish


Combine all ingredients except IPA in a cocktail shaker with ice. Hard shake for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain over cubed ice into a Collins glass. Top with IPA. Stir gently and garnish with lemon twist and dried chile de árbol.

Cinnamon-Agave Syrup

  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Mexican cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool. Strain into a sealed container. Keep refrigerated for up to two months.

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