…from the California Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? It has been said that everyone in New York has their own special and secret way of making a Manhattan. The Manhattan is a classic cocktail—bourbon, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters, which together result in making one of the most instantly recognizable and enchanting adult beverages.
Cocktail lore says that the Manhattan was invented in the 1880s in the Manhattan Club, and it has evolved over the years with a myriad of variations. If you split the vermouth between dry and sweet, you get The Perfect Manhattan, or if you add more vermouth, you get The Reverse Manhattan. In this version—The Smoke & Leather Manhattan—the ingredients work to accentuate some of the most basic and beloved aspects in this classic cocktail made with American whisky.
You can use something other than vermouth if you like. Try a fortified wine like Dubonnet which provides a rich mouthfeel that is somewhat stone-fruity in flavor. Back it up with Maurin Quina, a quinine fortified wine with a sharp bitterness, but a cherry flavor. This provides the cherry flavor without there being any actual cherry that you would normally see in a traditional Manhattan. To get the smoky flavor add 18.21 Havana and Hyde, a bitter that is smokey, leathery and has flavors of deep cherry fruit. After the stir garnish the cocktail with a flamed orange peel, to give it a slightly smoky aroma.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 Serving
2 ounces Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage Bourbon
3/4 ounce Dubonnet
3/4 ounce Maurin Quina
1 dash of 18.21 Havana and Hyde Bitters
Orange peel, for garnishing
ChefSecret: Evan Williams is a familiar name for anyone who drinks American whiskey. As the flagship spirit of Heaven Hill Distillery, the Kentucky bourbon is a national icon. It's also one of the top best-selling whiskey brands in the U.S. and the second best-selling bourbon in the world.
Quip of the Day: A nun badly needed to use the restroom at the local a local tavern. The place was hopping with music and loud conversation and, every once in a while, "the lights would turn off." Each time the lights would go out, the place would erupt into cheers. However, when the revelers saw the nun, the room went dead silent.
She walked up to the bartender, and asked, "May I please use the restroom? The bartender replied, “OK, but I should warn you that there is a statue of a naked man in there wearing only a fig leaf.” “Well, in that case, I’ll just look the other way,” said the nun.
After a few minutes, she came back out, and the whole place stopped just long enough to give the nun a loud round of applause. She went to the bartender and said, “I don’t understand. Why did they applaud for me just because I went to the restroom?”
“Well, now they know you’re one of us,” said the bartender. I don’t understand,” said the puzzled nun.
“You see,” laughed the bartender, "every time someone lifts the fig leaf on that statue, the lights go out.
Now, how about that drink?"
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