To my absolute delight, a friend sent me a page out of a literary cocktail book. Yes, that’s right: A book of cocktails based on popular literature. Specifically, she sent me “Rye and Prejudice,” a cocktail meant to represent Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s love from “Pride and Prejudice.” And honestly, it was as delicious to drink as their romance was to read about.
This cocktail is very simple, and I felt free to interpret its two ingredients according to the characters they’re meant to be about. The first ingredient is one shot glass full of rye whiskey. Since I was still weary of Jim Beam after the old fashioned article from two weeks ago, I decided to opt for a different brand of whiskey. As it turns out, there are very few cheap rye whiskey options. They all seem to be about $30. Thus, it made the most sense to me to pick out the prettiest, most aesthetically pleasing bottle of it. The whiskey is meant to represent Darcy, i.e. the gorgeous Colin Firth, so why not splurge on a beautiful bottle of Sazerac Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey? With its elegant neck, its wooden and cork stopper and its beautiful molded base, I figured the bottle would be nice to have even if its contents tasted crappy.
Now, if the proud Darcy is rye whiskey, then the second ingredient must be Elizabeth. And to be fair, it matches her personality perfectly: Two shots of grapefruit juice. Considering Elizabeth’s bitterness to Darcy for much of the book, as well as her bold personality, grapefruit is a perfect representation. And yet, considering that I don’t like either of these two flavors alone, I was terrified at how they would be together. But, somehow, it worked.
The grapefruit juice cut the ickiness of the whiskey entirely, and the whiskey helped offset the bitterness of the juice. Additionally, the Sazerac was miles better than the Jim Beam bourbon I forced down last month. It was far more mild and almost tasty. With a couple of ice cubes thrown in the mix, the drink was down right delicious. I didn’t even need to chase it with a glass of cheap wine!
Aesthetics-wise, this drink is very classy. It’s murky pink in color, but in a rocks glass with a couple ice cubes, it looks like a drink fit for a landed gentleman. It’s also just classy when you consider the prestige of its two ingredients. Rye whiskey is no cheap bourbon you get from a party, it’s flavorful and fairly expensive. Grapefruit juice is also one of the fancier juices on the market. If you were at a diner and the person you were with ordered a tall glass of grapefruit juice (or just a grapefruit), you would feel a little inferior. I suppose it’s because we’re all orange juice and lemonade people at heart, and to step out of that realm is a thing of wonder. Combined, these two parts make an impressive whole to behold.
Alcohol-wise, it is one standard unit of alcohol. But if you consider how little liquid is in it in total, and how much you could conceivably drink in one night, it is a pretty significant source of inebriation. Plus, it’s easier to track how much you’re drinking when one glass equals one unit.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by both the flavor and the existence of this drink. I recommend it to all fans of Jane Austen and all admirers of Firth.
Rating: 4 out of 5