Slow and Low is America’s Original Bottled Cocktail
Recently during the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting with Claire Bertin-Lang, a representative of Slow and Low Rock and Rye. I wanted to find out a little more about who Slow & Low is as I had seen that they were doing several events throughout the conference. And of course I wanted to sample this cocktail in a bottle that I heard tasted like an Old Fashioned. Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good Old Fashioned, so it was only fitting that I give this one a try.
Claire started by giving me some background about the company and how it got from Hochstadter’s Rock & Rye to Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock & Rye. Here is their amazing story.
Slow & Low was inspired by Hochstadter’s original Rock & Rye recipe dating back to 1884. Sold in saloons in the 19th Century as a straight unaged Rye Whiskey, it was found to be a little harsh to drink. So bar tenders started adding a little rock candy to the whiskey to cut its sharpness. Hence the term Rock & Rye! It also seemed that this historic drink, almost as old as America itself, was acting much like a cure-all for folks who drank it, easing colds, coughs, bronchitis, consumption‚ sniffles and the like. So soon it found its way into pharmacies. However as people started drinking the elixir, it became a favorite beverage.
Fast forward 50 years when the late Philadelphia distiller, Robert Cooper of Cooper Spirits & St. Germain fame, found the original recipe for Hochstadter’s Rock & Rye. Recreating the recipe with quality ingredients like aged straight rye whiskey, navel oranges from Florida, pure raw Pennsylvania honey, a small dose of rock candy and a touch of Angostura-style bitters, it has made its way back to drinking.
Now comes the good part, the part where I get to taste test this “cocktail”.
Claire said she wanted me to try it smooth first. Just a couple of ice cubes and a slice of orange rind with the whiskey. Wow, what flavor this bottled cocktail had. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it sure wasn’t this. This drink had such a rich clean taste. It had the sugar to take the sharpness away from the whiskey, but it wasn’t sticky sweet thanks to the raw honey. And the addition of air dried navel oranges to the recipe gave it just a hint of aromatic citrus to compliment the whiskey. OK, I’m a fan already but I was told there is a great cocktail made with this, so bring it on!
The Slow Poison is made with lemonade from fresh squeezed lemon juice, or the next best thing, a bottled pure lemonade with no artificial stuff. Add this fine lemonade to the whiskey over ice and garnish with a lemon slice if you have it. This is a very refreshing drink for the warm summer months in Texas, so I’m liking it too. I’m also thinking there are other ways to drink this divine nectar, but I will probably stick with the smooth version.
Slow and Low is now also a cocktail in a 100ml can. This is the same high proof, high quality beverage which you can drink straight from the can. Here is where you can find Slow & Low near you.
Keep a watchful eye out for the Slow & Low decked-out party van. It could be driving through a city near you and there is always a party going on in there.
This cocktail in a bottle, similar to an Old Fashioned, is 84 Proof and proudly union made in Philadelphia.