Rumbling Tins Construction’s Old Rye Sage
  • Rumbling Tins Construction’s Old Rye Sage
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The Westgate Hotel

1055 Second Avenue, Downtown San Diego

The fellows from Rumbling Tins Construction brought their pleasant clamor to the Westgate Hotel to offer patrons a trifecta of cocktails as part of a recent tasting soirée.

A five-member collaboration of jiggering journeymen, Rumbling Tins sports an impressive roster, including Craft & Commerce’s Leigh Lecap and Alex Maynard, Christian Siglin from Bankers Hill, and Sycamore Den’s Eric Johnson and David Kinsey.

David Kinsey

David Kinsey

At the Westgate’s March 13 presentation, they played matchmakers with aperitif and appetizer, created a custom-built cocktail con carne, and finished strong and sweet to punctuate the affair’s dessert dish.

The folks at the Westgate also wanted a little history with their liquor, Kinsey says, and so in planning their cocktails, Rumbling Tins dreamt up some drinks that carried the proof of conviction.

“We wanted to base each of the cocktails off a classic,” he tells me before the event. “As we make each drink, we’re going to give the history of the cocktail on which each is based and explain how we arrived at reimagining each.”

Borrowing the best parts of two classics, the Manhattan and the Archangel (a gin, Asperol, and fresh cucumber combo), the Old Rye Sage serves as pivot piece in the ensemble, lending muscular liquid support to the Westgate’s red-meat course.

In developing the drink, team Rumbling reached first for the absinthe and sage — perfect complements to any beef or lamb dish, Kinsey says. And the rye has a part to play, too.

“If you want something with a peppery spicy flavor, Bulleit Rye is great,” he says, noting that the artichoke-based Cynar serves as fulcrum between rye and absinthe.

“Right up front, you’re going to get a lot of that pepperiness from the rye,” he says. “Then the slight bitterness and rich vegetable taste from the Cynar comes along and it finishes off with the absinthe’s anise.”

How to Make It

  • • 2 ¼ oz. Bulleit Rye
  • • ¾ oz. Cynar
  • • 1 or 2 dashes absinthe
  • • 4 fresh sage leaves

After giving the sage “a quick bruise” (i.e., a muddle without the enthusiasm) at the bottom of cocktail tin, fill tin with ice, add remaining ingredients, stir, strain into a coupe or cocktail glass, and top with a sage leaf.

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