The Blushing Buck

Strawberry cocktail garnished with mint
Ryan Little's Blushing Buck balances the boldness of Rittenhouse Rye with more delicate ingredients, like aloe vera liqueur, ginger and fresh strawberries.

"Rittenhouse has a reputation for being a big-bodied rye, best-suited for spirit forward and vintage cocktails like the Manhattan or the Sazerac; drinks that taste like whiskey. Everyone knows Rittenhouse is great for that, but I was hoping to prove it could step back from center stage and harmonize with other more delicate ingredients. I've noticed it plays really nicely with Chareau, a product originally from here in Los Angeles made with aloe, spearmint and cucumber; these flavors paired really nicely with the herbal and sweet notes in the rye. The Liber and Co syrup provides the cocktail with not only sweetness and body, but also ginger spice, which pairs with the aloe, the rye, and the strawberries. Strawberries, whiskey and ginger are obviously a great pairing, as evidenced by Erick Castro's modern classic, the Kentucky Buck, but I aimed to make a gentler cocktail taming the strength of the rye with the sweet berries, the complex aloe liqueur, and the anise-like spicy notes of the Peychaud's bitters for additional depth. A whiskey cocktail to enjoy with your beignet. Cheers, NOLA!" — Ryan Little, Bartender at POT Lobby Bar (Los Angeles, CA)


  • 112 ounce Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey
  • 12 ounce Chareau Aloe Vera Liqueur
  • 34 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 ounce Liber and Co. Ginger Syrup
  • 2 medium ripe strawberries, plus one for garnish (fanned)
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
  • 2 ounces soda water to top


Muddle the Strawberries thoroughly in the Chareau and the ginger syrup. Add the lemon juice and the rye along with a 2-3 small pieces of ice and shake until fully melted to whip, chill and dilute slightly. Add the soda to the shaker to loosen up the mixture and double strain into a Collins glass half-filled with crushed, or preferably, pellet ice. Add more crushed ice to fill and mound above the surface of the glass, then garnish with 2 dashes of Peychaud's bitters and a strawberry fan. Serve with a straw, and preferably brunch.