November has officially become the month of the mustache. Right about now, nearly 200,000 Americans (and a smidgen less than one million worldwide) are letting their lip hair grow unabashedly for Movember, a month-long campaign of mustache growing to raise awareness—and funds—for men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. Men across the world start clean-shaven November 1 and let those misplaced eyebrows fill in for 30 days, raising funds throughout their flavor-saver growing campaign. It's like a walkathon without the exercise and more jokes.
In solidarity of our mustachioed brothers, we’ve selected a few cocktails to celebrate Movember. Each is mustache-themed in its own right. Enjoy and let it grow!
Friday Happy Hour: Clean Shaven
All great mustaches had humble, peach-faced beginnings, so we’re starting these cocktails off smoothly. The Peachface is a pink sip that’ll have you humming “Georgia on My Mind.”
- 1 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. peach schnapps
- 3 oz. cranberry juice
In a mixing tin half-filled with ice, add ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain into a Collins glass half-filled with ice.
Saturday is for Growing
As the name implies, the Hair Raiser will give you a bit of an edge in the mustachio-growing contest. This cocktail is strong and burly and just might cure those Movember sniffles. The simple concoction serves up a shot of Americana to complete the sip: Rock and Rye (recipe below).
- 1½ oz. 100 proof vodka
- ½ oz. Rock and Rye*
- ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
In a cocktail tin filled with ice, add ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve immediately.
Rock and Rye
An easy liqueur to make at home, the Rock and Rye is simply a mix of rye whiskey with rock candy and, depending on preference, fruits or bitter herbs. This drink was long considered a cure-all for the common cold and years ago was even given to children (imagine that happening today).
For some dimension, add a pinch or two of gentian root, the primary flavor behind Angostura bitters. It gives the Rock and Rye not just another flavor but also a kick of proof to boot. It’s pretty good on the rocks but best when mixed in a cocktail.
Here’s a simple recipe so you can play apothecary and make your own Rock and Rye liqueur at home (just don’t give it to the kids).
Rock and Rye
- 1 750 ml. bottle of rye whiskey**
- 6 oz. rock candy
- Orange rinds (optional)
- Lemon rinds (optional)
- Gentian root (optional)
In a quart-sized mason jar, add whiskey and rock candy. Add fruit and herbs as desired—about half an orange, half a lemon and one tablespoon of Gentian root. (The fruit and herbs will help soften the spice of the rye and give the Rock and Rye an added dimension of flavor.) Let sit in a cool, dry place for at least a week, agitating once or twice a day. Strain and serve.
**The use of a quality rye whiskey is essential for a good Rock and Rye mix. Sazerac, Rittenhouse, Jim Beam and Wild Turkey all make a fine rye whiskey that’s also quite affordable. For those looking for a higher dollar bottle, Templeton, WhistlePig and A.H. Hirsch are your brands. Get more info on rye here.
Sunday Funday: Magnum P.I. is Back!
We’re capping our Movember cocktails with perhaps one of the most famous mustaches of them all: Tom Selleck. In my book, that cat’s soup strainer ranks in the top 10—as does the job of Magnum P.I., wheelin’ around Hawaii in a Ferrari, fighting crime in a floral button-down and messing with old Higgins.
Alas, my private investigator days don’t seem to be in the stars (Ferraris are expensive and I’m afraid of guns), but we can enjoy a sip named after the famous 'stache. The Tom Selleck is a twist on the classic Tom Collins, utilizing that Rock and Rye we whipped up earlier.
- 2 oz. Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- ½ oz. Rock and Rye
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2½ oz. soda water
Pour all ingredients into a Collins glass filled with ice. Stir gently. Garnish with a lemon slice and a maraschino cherry.
If you would like to nominate a cocktail recipe to appear in our latest series "Weekend Cocktails," email the online editor here.
Tools of the Trade
Become a master mixologist, or at least look like one, with the tools that make the trade.
- Muddler: This little tenderizing stick is a godsend and a must for any home bar. If fruity cocktails are in your future, the muddler is the only way to unlock fruits’ flavor.
- Handheld Citrus Juicer: Nothing beats freshly squeezed juice, but it can be a pain. Invest in a handheld citrus juicer; they are cheap and do the trick tout de suite.
- Cocktail Shaker: Don’t be a chump stirring your martini like a noob; purchase a nice shaker and become a master home barkeep.
- Jigger: This little apparati will make mixing the perfect drink as easy as pie. It's equipped with 1½ oz. and ¾ oz. cups for perfectly measured pours every time.
*Pictured available at Williams-Sonoma