Check out two bartenders, one in NYC and one in San Francisco, mixing up RyeDay the 13th cocktails to help celebrate American rye.

Matt Grippo of San Francisco’s Black Bird Bar created the Sunshine Collins for RyeDay the 13th. “I wanted to make a simple, refreshing option for our guests on RyeDay,” says Matt. “Letting the rye shine through is important, so I kept it very simple and straightforward. I think it’s great that so many of our friends’ bars around San Francisco are participating in RyeDay as well—so we can send guests to different bars to see what they are serving up. We will have some great cocktails and a quick lesson on Maryland style rye for anyone looking to learn more about the whiskey.”

Tell us about RyeDay the 13th celebrations at Black Bird Bar.

We keep it simple and offer a few ways to enjoy Sagamore Spirit: two cocktails and a beer pairing. Focusing on a specific spirit is fun for us behind the bar because we can speak to the category and give our guests a bit of history on rye. I think the category is still relatively new to most guests, which makes for a great reason to try one of the cocktails. We have the Cask Strength on hand and hope to offer Calvados Cask Finish in a flight of all three expressions.


Sunshine Collins cocktail with garnish

Sunshine Collins

Sunshine Collins 


  • 1 1/2 oz. Sagamore Rye
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. orange cordial*

Preparation:  Shaken, strained into Collins with a splash of soda. Garnish with orange twist. *Orange Cordial: Mix equal parts orange juice and extra-fine sugar.


Nathan Lithgow bartender for Holy Ground in New York City, created The Flathead, a riff on a classic whiskey sour, using Sagamore Rye as the spine, seasoned with a grilled-apricot-chamomile trio of modifiers to contrast the spicy, round, savory profile of the rye. Named for the Flathead, the lake in Montana that introduced Nathan to his first taste of wild apricots.

We asked Nathan what inspired his cocktail recipe?

“I wanted to write something that brought out the fruit and purity of grain expression in the Sagamore Rye but also hinted towards the coming warmer season. I’ve always liked the interplay of apricot and rye, and the Forthave amaro lends both a bitterness and herbal complexity to the build. The saffron and mole are background accents to bring out the stone fruit flavors of the Dorado single malt, and the apricot and lemon sort of sit in the middle.”

How does Holy Ground celebrate RyeDay the 13th.

Holy Ground is a place that functions like a time warp. Guests will be transported after a cocktail or two, and the goal is to create a vibe where time becomes secondary. Our motto is, “stay down here where you belong,” a line from a classic Irving Berlin song that is a centerpiece on our house playlist.

We will be featuring whiskey classics for RyeDay, including Joaquin Simo’s “Carrol Gardens” (a Manhattan variation), and a classic Old Fashioned. Holy Ground is a room that harkens back to the golden age of cocktailing, so we will be playing the hits all night.

The Flathead cocktail

The Flathead

The Flathead


  • 1 1/2 oz. Sagamore Rye
  • 1/2 oz. Whiskey Del Bac ‘Dorado’ Mesquite Smoked Single Malt
  • 1/2 oz. Forthave ‘Marseille’ Amaro
  • 1/4 oz. Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup  (1:1)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon
  • Bar Spoon Apologue Saffron
  • 2 dashes Xocolatil Mole bitters

Preparation: Hard shake, strained over a large rock in a double rocks glass.