Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rye Whiskey Cocktails

Black-Eyed Rye

Black-Eyed Rye cocktail in a Highball glass, garnished with mint leaves and three skewered blackberries


Football drinks usually include beer and more beer, but there’s no reason cocktails can’t make an appearance on Sunday. So for football season, we asked a bartender from each NFL team’s hometown to provide the perfect cocktail to represent their team. Baltimore barkeep Aaron Joseph concocted the Black-Eyed Rye to rep his Ravens.

“Before Prohibition, WWI and WWII, Maryland was one of the largest producers of rye in the country,” says Joseph. “Therefore, a cocktail inspired by the Baltimore Ravens can only be rye-based. As an added bonus, I use rye from a Maryland company, Sagamore Spirit.”

He combines that rye whiskey with fresh lime juice, homemade blackberry mint syrup, mint leaves and ginger beer. The easygoing cocktail is exactly what you want to drink during a football game. It’s refreshing and fruit-forward with cooling mint and spicy ginger, perfect for pairing with all your game day snacks. And the color is spot-on for the Ravens.

“Baltimore is affectionately called Charm City, built on the hard work of blue-collar workers and tough love, which is the same way our football team competes every week,” says Joseph. “The purple color of the cocktail ties into the team colors of purple and black, too.”


  • 1 1/2 ounces Sagamore Spirit rye whiskey

  • 3/4 ounce blackberry mint syrup*

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 10 mint leaves

  • 3 ounces ginger beer

  • Garnish: mint sprig

  • Garnish: 3 skewered blackberries


  1. Add the rye whiskey, blackberry mint syrup, lime juice and mint leaves to a shaker with ice, and shake vigorously for 25 seconds.

  2. Double-strain into a highball glass filled with ice, then top with the ginger beer.

  3. Garnish with a mint sprig and three skewered blackberries.

*Blackberry mint syrup: Add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1 1/2 cups of blackberries, and muddle the berries into the syrup. Add 2 cups of mint leaves and stir. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours, and strain the syrup into a jar. Keeps in the refrigerator for 1 month.