Whiskey conjures up a lot of things: old drunk cowboys in a saloon, glasses of celebratory Scotch, and excise taxes and subsequent heroic rebellions in Pittsburgh in 1794 later referenced by obscure Bob Dylan songs, mainly. Now conjuring up an ideal setting for you to drink it: Rye.
Tucked away in an unassuming upper area of the Ritz's back lobby, Rye honors the grain used in the long-overlooked, suddenly resurgent subset of American whiskey via a muscly bar menu heavy on amber spirits in a space optimized for chilled-out sipping thanks to plush lounge seating and dappled water projections overhead, which hopefully won't have the same effect as a running faucet, and inspire dappled water projections in the head. Signature tipples include the Orange Cruiser (bourbon, mint/pineapple syrup, orange slice), the Southern Belle (bourbon, fresh OJ/pineapple, grenadine), the Versailles (bourbon, Cointreau, lime, simple syrup, sour mix), and the bourbon/bitters/muddled cherries/orange/sugar classic they've re-dubbed the Bourbon Oh! Fashioned -- ingesting too much will leave an Oh! face out of reach. If you like to cozy up to whiskey on its own, they've got high-end blended Scotches like Chivas Royal Salute 21, Dewar's Signature, and Johnnie Blue, single malts like Talisker 10 and Macallan 25, plus an impressive lineup of Americans like Buffalo Trace, Basil Hayden, Eagle Rare Single Barrel, George T. Stagg, and Pappy Van Winkle 20, which's said to be "huge and almost chewable", a fact no one's Pappy to know about.
If you're not in to whiskey, you should be shot, but instead Rye's rounding out the bar with plenty of vodkas, ports, wines, and more. On weekends there'll be live music -- so cowboy up, bring a girl, and make a heroic attempt at "Lay, Lady, Lay".