"For authentic Americana, home-cooked fare packed with attitude..."Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Jackson & Rye’s transatlantic charm has become a firm favourite since arriving in London; with home-cooked American style food all day long with a great bar and relaxed environment it was always going to prove a winning recipe. While I can heartily recommend the breakfasts (seriously legit eggs, maple slab bacon, hand drip coffee and fresh juices - what’s not to love?) the latest addition to the menu is probably best enjoyed after dark, or at least after work (it is summer after all).
Fans of a whiskey or three need to stop in on a Wednesday evening to make the most of Jackson & Rye’s Flight Night, a new drinks promotion offering diners an authentic taste of old America, as three small shots of Rye for just £9.95. With so many varieties of Rye available, there’s a flight to suit all taste buds. From fresh and herbaceous whiskey, through to a deep, earthy Rye that packs a smoky punch, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a trip for your taste buds across America.
Though the rye flights are obviously delicious (more on that in a minute), it’s not [i]really[/i] recommended to enjoy on an empty stomach. Start with a trio of appetisers for the table; the popcorn chicken is dangerously moreish, the jumbo shrimp deliciously succulent and dripping in classic cocktail sauce, while for anyone who’s ever watched an American movie and wondered, the corn dogs were pretty darn good; essentially a frankfurter in batter with mustard to dip it in, proper kid’s food but definitely worth the calories.
The six hour smoked baby back ribs, served with green slaw and fries, was approximately the size of my arm; definitely not for the faint-hearted (or small stomached) but good Lord they were tasty. We’re talking proper barbecue, saucy, juicy, have-to-use-your-hands tasty. Luckily post-prandial wet wipes are provided. I didn’t hear any complaints from the other side of the table, where a 200g fillet steak and garlic butter sauce was being demolished, but to be honest we were both in something of a meat coma after a few minutes so I’m not sure I would have noticed either way.
I’ve heard great things about the menu in general - including the buttermilk fried chicken which is definitely calling my name for another night - but the sweets are to die for. From peanut butter fudge s’mores and a trio of sundae options, this is US dessert done good. I went straight in for the J&R pecan pie, with caramel ice cream with bourbon and maple syrup. Trust me, you want it. It was so good I considered getting a second take out portion for my journey home but decided not to be a fatty.
Back to the matter in hand, and the Ryes. Whether you are looking for a Rye to whet your appetite, or an after dinner aperitif, there are eight flavour camps of Rye for diners to peruse. Each camp embodies the main flavour profiles that a whiskey can exhibit, aiding a diner’s decision and providing plenty of options for both the Rye rookie and experienced whiskey connoisseur. I tried The Spirit of America, consisting of a 10 year old Eagle Rare Bourbon, the one used in J&R’s Old Fashioneds (smooth and dry with notes of coffee, oak and almonds), Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, a drink steeped in history back to 1796 (with spice and honey notes and a hint of peppermint) and finally the brilliantly named Smooth Ambler Contradiction; with notes of vanilla, buttered toasts and coffee, I know nothing about Ryes but I know I liked this one.
For authentic Americana, home-cooked fare packed with attitude and an East Coast Flair, get Jackson & Rye on your agenda and the addition of Flight Night is a great introduction to this underrated spirit that is Rye; it’s a great opportunity to see how delicious and varied this drink can be.
Laurel reviewed Jackson Rye on Wed 07 Jun 2017