Distilled: Rambling House soda a cut above the rest

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive
Cocktails made with Rambling House soda

As I've stated innumerable times in this column, whiskey is my favorite beverage in the world. Sorry, water. However, what I haven't probably stated is that whiskey and ginger beer (or ale as a replacement) is my go-to simple cocktail.

So upon entering Rambling House on a not-too-hot-and-muggy evening, I knew I would immediately go for the Relentless Mule (Watershed bourbon, ginger beer and a dash of honey). The cocktail was quite fantastic, bringing a spicy, tangy bite with a hint of sweetness.

“I really hope [it] will be a year-round drink. It's selling really well during the summer, and it's refreshing,” said Rambling House owner John Lynch. “But the spiciness and the warmth of the bourbon will make a good drink when the weather gets colder.”

While I would've been more than content to sit back with another ginger concoction, I moved on to some other flavors. The sarsaparilla was also a better-than-the-norm version, but the soda-booze combo I'll head back for is the Columbus Cola and whiskey (or bourbon). Once Lynch explained the recipe, I knew I needed to try it.

“I think our cola is a perfect example of a beverage that fits the trend of caring what goes into the drink,” he said. “It's lemon, lime, orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and a little bit of cola nut for caffeine. It's the soda we make that I'm most proud of.”

Getting your hands on some Rambling sodas will be easier soon, although I still recommend experiencing the cozy, minimalist speakeasy (Thursday through Sunday). Lynch said Rambling House plans to open a second, production-only facility soon to offer more sodas on tap in more bars and restaurants — Seventh Son, The Crest and a handful of others already serve Rambling House — and begin bottling by the end of the year.