I think this may be the first time I am deep diving into a classic cocktail on the blog. But it dawned on me that visiting the techniques of the classics helps one to create variations and helps teach valuable techniques that can take us all far! Plus, it's always good to have a little history lesson... especially if it's a boozy history lesson.
The origins of the manhattan are somewhat mysterious. There are a few wives tales that are floating around out there but no one is 100% sure how the cocktail came to be. My favorite theory is that it was simply a cocktail created to represent the popular borough in New York: Manhattan. Because frankly I think that every where should have a cocktail that represents it. But I digress.
One very important note to the manhattan is that it is very easy to mess up. A slight over-pour of any one of the ingredients and it won't taste as intended. Now, you may want to cut back on 1 of the 3 ingredients. One very popular ingredient to cut back on is the sweet vermouth. If you are working with a low quality vermouth it just won't taste the same as a high quality vermouth. Crazy, I know.
A great way to get to know what the the manhattan should taste like is to go to a very respected bar in your neck of the woods. Your best bet is with a higher quality bar where a seasoned bartender is known to work.
This can definitely be an intimidating cocktail but I urge you to give it a chance. I like to give everything a 5 try policy. If after 5 times I can't get into a cocktail then it's just not for me. But I try to find a way to appreciate the flavors to keep an open mind. After all, we don't all have the same tastebuds and I can't expect you all to always like my favorites.
All that being said my favorite part of the manhattan is the cherry. Since I was of legal drinking age my father with throw an extra cherry in his manhattan so that I can have it once it's been soaking in the drink for a while. So I guess it's only natural that i'm starting to explore the manhattan a little more.
Ingredients - P.S. even if you don't think you like manhattans these 3 ingredients are home bar essentials!
2 oz whiskey
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes angostura bitters
Fill a shaker with ice and add whiskey, vermouth and bitters. STIR (don't shake) to chill and blend. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with cherries!
Maybe the best part of this cocktail is that it's SO SO SO easy to make. Now, let's drink!
Check out the honey cranberry manhattan I created a few weeks ago!
Purses down, bottoms up!