September 27, 2023 2:46 pm

Maryland NotaRita

Back in March, Whiskey Network did a live tasting of Sagamore Spirits offerings of Maryland-Style Rye Whiskey.  One of the bottles that really caught my eye was a rye finished in Extra Anejo Tequila barrels.  As a cocktail enthusiast, I was very intrigued; I wanted to create an alternative to the garden variety Margarita for the whiskey enthusiast as we head into the hot Florida summer.  This rye from Sagamore was the perfect driving force for the cocktail I call the Maryland NotaRita.  

Flavor Profile: Refreshing and strong with plenty of tropical flavors 



  • 2 1/2 oz Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
  • 1 oz George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond
  • 3/4 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
  • 1/2 oz Tuaca
  • 5 oz Heavy Cream
  • Dollop of Marshmallow Whip
  • 2 dashes Chocolate Bitters


  • Add all ingredients to a Boston shaker filled with ice
  • Shake for approximately 30 seconds
  • Strain into a highball glass filled with ice
  • Garnish: Skewered Peanut Butter Cup

My Take

Tiki cocktails are a summer favorite of drinkers everywhere.  Stereotyped as a pink umbrella foo–foo concoction by the uninitiated, Tiki cocktails are some of the strongest beverages one can imbibe and the most complex to make properly. Make no mistake: if you see your bartender at the beach club reach for a mix, you’re not having a real Mai Tai or Zombie. The Maryland NotaRita is a riff on the Margarita, combining the lime and Grand Marnier of a traditional Margarita with the multiple rums of a heavy hitting and proper Tiki cocktail. I like to use Jamaican rums for their funkiness (Plantation and Appleton Estate are my favorites). The excellent Sagamore Spirits Tequila Finish Rye continues the Margarita theme, but never loses its rye character.  This Maryland–style rye is perfect for a Tiki cocktail as the style errs on the sweeter side instead of a full–on 100% rye, which would not really work here. Rich and heavy Demerara Gum syrup turns a drink that most would find too sour and bitter into a harmonious blend of flavors that is balanced and delicious. And finally, this wouldn’t be a Tiki inspired cocktail without an over proofed rum floater. By pouring it over the ice cube, you get a nice visual effect on the surface which also allows the rum to slowly integrate into the drink itself as you sip. 

Music Pairing

Gloria Estefan & The Miami Sound Machine “Rhythm is Gonna Get You” (Epic)

I was born in Miami many a year ago, and this tune always brings me back to the crazy, wild late 80’s. Even if you don’t have a single musical bone in your body, I guarantee you will be moving to the Latin beat of this classic. It probably wouldn’t hurt to have a few NotaRita’s in your system either. 


"Whisky is liquid sunshine."

George Bernard Shaw

“The light music of whiskey falling into a glass – an agreeable interlude.”

James Joyce

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