The Point of No Return Rye and Vermouth Cocktail

This recipe by downtown Pittsburgh bar The Warren won our judge’s choices first prize in our Cocktail Shake-Off. Taste buds were at full attention with notes of basil, lime, and spicy ginger melding together Crooked Creek Distillery Signature Rye, vermouth, bitters, and a pop of Boba Pops Raspberry boba. A fun and unique vermouth, rye, and boba combo cocktail! The judges were wild for it and gave it number-one status. Read more about our cocktail shake-off!

Where To Get Boba Pops 

While places to get premade boba tea are all over the place these days, getting the actual tapioca pearls can be a little more challenging. Also, you don’t want to be using straight-up raw tapioca in a cocktail. The bartenders at The Warren are using a special type of liqueur Boba pearls, which you can buy from Unifying Spirits. 


  • ¾ oz lime juice
  • ¼ oz dry vermouth
  • 1 oz basil simple syrup
  • 1 ½ oz Crooked Creek Distillery Signature Rye
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Red Ribbon Jamaica’s Finest Hot Hot Hot Ginger Beer
  • Boba Pops Raspberry Boba

How to Make “The Point of No Return” 

  1. Add ice to shaker. Pour in lime, vermouth, syrup, rye, both bitters, and shake vigorously until frost forms on the shaker.
  2. Strain and pour over ice in a Collins glass.
  3. Top with ginger beer and boba.
  4. Garnish with lime wheels and fresh basil.

Why a Collins glass? 

A Collins glass—named for the Tom Collins cocktail—is better for a drink like this with multiple mixed ingredients in it topped with a sparkling component. Its cousin, the highball glass, is almost interchangeable, but better for drinks with two spirits and a mixer. The Collins glass is a better choice for a drink with this many elements to it. You don’t have to be a bartender to have one, you can easily get them at most retailers.

Recipe by Erik Tennyson, Michael Marts, and Ciana Cassi / Story by Emma Riva / Photography by Dave Bryce

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