The Ruffian

Alla Lapushchik, OTB | Brooklyn, NY

thyme herbal drink daniel krieger

This winter sipper is named after Brooklyn bar owner Alla Lapushchik’s friend’s dog. Lapushchik—who owns the horse racing themed OTB (off-track betting)—later learned that the dog was named after Ruffian, a champion American racehorse from the 1970s. Now an ode to two four-legged beasts, this cocktail is an all-American sour mix of rye whiskey, Applejack, lemon, thyme-infused syrup and a splash of absinthe.


Serving: 1

  • 1 ounce rye
  • 3/4 ounce Applejack
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce thyme syrup (see Editor's Note)
  • 1 dash absinthe (preferably Pernod)

Garnish: sprig of thyme

  1. Add a dash of absinthe to a rocks glass, and roll around to coat. Discard and set aside.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  3. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  4. Strain over ice into a rocks glass.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Editor's Note

Add 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water and 4 to 5 thyme sprigs to a saucepan. Simmer until sugar dissolves and discard thyme sprigs. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Related Punch A-Z


(n.) This boldly-flavored spirit is flavored with a distinct mix of herbs and botanicals, most often anise, fennel and wormwood. It is thought to have been created in France or Switzerland as a medicinal elixir, and was first commercially produced in 1797 by what would become the Pernod company. Most often associated with a bright [...] More A-Z →