Friday, February 25, 2011

The "Perfect" Manhattan

So far, I have only reviewed beers, but now I am in search of the perfect "Perfect" Manhattan. What is a Manhattan, you ask? Well it's more or less a Martini made with Whiskey. But wait...there's more. That is a very simplistic analogy because the Manhattan can be so much more and variations of it are immense. Rumors swirl that the Manhattan was created in 1860 by a bartender named Black or in 1874 at the Manhattan Club. Either way, the basic original is Rye Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth, and Bitters. Today there are several versions and I hope to entice you with a few of my favorites.
To begin, there must be Whiskey. Rye whiskey is harder to find now than in 1874, but purportedly a Canadian Whiskey is a close cousin and will suffice. I have used Canadian in an effort to recreate the original. Makers Mark Kentucky Bourbon made an impact on this cocktail and was actually the first version I ever tried. I say use what you have and what you like. I tend to have bourbon around so I use it. My version today contains Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon.
Next comes Vermouth. Originally, the drink used Sweet Vermouth only but I like to offset the sweetness by adding equal amounts of Dry Vermouth. Dry Vermouth is what makes this a "Perfect" Manhattan. Vermouths are not expensive and will last you a long time so buy a decent brand besides the generic label. Cinzano and Martini Rossi are good. Most bars will make the original with Sweet only and I its usually too much for me.

So here is today's "Perfect"recipe:

1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Dry Vermouth
4 oz Evan Williams Whiskey
2 dashes Bitters
1 Maraschino Cherry
Add ice and shake all ingredients except cherry. Drop cherry into a martini glass and strain the amber richness into glass. Sip and enjoy.

The Review:
Its good, but it may still be a little heavy on the Vermouth's. My next attempt will be a drier version where I shake both the Vermouths and ice alone, then pour out the liquid, just leaving a flavor on the ice, then adding whiskey and bitters.

1 comment:

  1. A recommendation for you Jimmy. I recently did a little variation of a Manhattan that ended up on my drink list at work. Try using orange bitters as opposed to regular bitters. It adds a little sweetness. If you do this though stay away from the sweet whiskeys. I would suggest using maybe Knob Creek or some other small batch. Speaking of whiskey I also made a Makers Mark sidecar as a drink special last weekend. If you like a sweet whiskey drink give it a try:

    2 oz. Makers Mark
    1/2 oz. Cointreau
    1/4 oz. simple syrup
    Fresh limes

    Muddle limes and simple syrup in shaker. Add ice whiskey and Cointreau. Shake. Serve in a sugar rimmed martini glass.

    This is my favorite drink right now (until tomorrow).