“Good writing is good writing, but that doesn't mean you can't orchestrate it or tweak it.”
- John Travolta
One of my favorite cocktail is the timeless Manhattan. As far as cocktail is concerned, it’s definitely “good writing”: whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters.
But then, what whiskey do you use? Bourbon? Rye? Irish?
What vermouth? Something on the sweet side? On the spicy side? Something completely different?
And all the other tweaks you can imagine... that’s basically up to you, and that’s what’s exciting. Technically, it might take a different name if you don’t use the original ingredients or respect the original ratios... but who cares!
One of my all time favorite twist is a 50/50 of Jameson Black Barrel and Antica Formula, Peychaud’s Bitters, dash of Pernod Absinthe (adding a third dimension), stirred over crushed ice (crushed, it’s important, for dilution), lemon twist (for freshness). Simply delicious.
Here, on this picture dating from 5-6 months ago (as you can judge from the level of whiskey inside the bottle), I didn’t even use vermouth, but amaro instead, making up for something that’s sometimes referred to as “Black Manhattan”.
-75/25 Canadian Rye Whiskey and “China Massagli”, an Italian Amaro from the small town of Lucca (not far from Pisa)
-Dash of Pernod Absinthe
-Stirred over crushed ice and lemon twist
A bit heavier and more medicinal than the above-mentioned recipe with Jameson, but still very enjoyable.
What’s your favorite tweaks on the Manhattan?