Saturday, February 12, 2011

Love the Manhattan { a riff on our most cherished cocktail }


Manhattans = Love. Enjoy a Black Manhattan to celebrate the month of l’amour.

Deep in the heart of winter, February rolls around with a promise of love to warm you up. Another perfect way to warm up is with the cocktail we truly love, the Manhattan. It’s the ideal antidote to a bitter-cold winter evening. It evokes age-old cocktail glamour and satisfies like nothing else. We love a two-to-one ratio of whiskey to sweet vermouth, with a dash or two of bitters. Beyond that, there is room to play. You can substitute Averna, a bittersweet Sicilian amaro, for the vermouth for a deep, rich Black Manhattan; or Mirto, a Sardinian sloe berry liqueur that adds almost a hint of menthol. And if you don’t want to stray too far from our favored recipe, you can enjoy an Orange Bitters Manhattan. Just make sure you have some orange bitters on hand and a more bitter vermouth, such as Punt e Mes. For brownie points, try mixing in a new whiskey variety for your own take on this enduring classic, or another fortified wine, such as Dubonnet rouge, in lieu of the vermouth. The possibilities are endless.



Manhattan
(Cocktail Buzz’s preferred ratio)

Ingredients
2 ounces rye whiskey (or bourbon)
1 ounce sweet vermouth (we like Carpano Antica)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
maraschino, brandied, or marascha cherry, for garnish.

Method
Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Add cherry.

Black Manhattan
(adapted by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
2 ounces rye whiskey (or bourbon)
1 ounce Averna
2 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged bitters
maraschino, brandied, or marascha cherry, for garnish.

Method
Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Add cherry.

Myrtle Manhattan
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
3/4 ounces rye (we like Sazerac)
3/4 ounces bourbon (we like Eagle Rare Single Barrel)
3/4 ounces mirto (Sardinian or Corsican myrtle liqueur)
dash orange bitters
dash Peychaud’s bitters
maraschino, brandied, or marascha cherry, for garnish.

Method
Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Add cherry.

Orange Bitters Manhattan
(adapted by Cocktail Buzz)

Ingredients
2 ounces bourbon or rye (try a wheated bourbon, such as Old Fitzgerald’s 1849 or Maker’s Mark)
1 ounces Punt e Mes sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
maraschino, brandied, or marascha cherry, for garnish.

Method
Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Add cherry.

Bacon-Wrapped Dates are a perfect pairing for any of these Manhattans, with the bonus of being incredibly easy to throw together.

Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Ingredients
2 dozen dates
12 slices bacon (we like regular or low-sodium)
almonds (optional)

Method
You can either preheat oven to 350°F or use an outdoor grill, with hot coals. Cut the bacon in half and wrap a strip around each date. You can insert an almond into the dates through its natural hole if you desire, for added flavor. Place the bacon-wrapped dates (with the seam side down) onto a lined baking sheet, or a grill pan if using an outdoor grill. Bake for 15 minutes, until the bacon looks crispy. If using an outdoor grill, flip the dates, cooking about 5 minutes on each side, or until the bacon looks crispy. Remove from heat and add toothpicks if you desire.

Serves 6.

A version of the article first appeared on BarNoneDrinks.com.

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