TIPS & MUSINGS
Ingredients matter when it comes to a Manhattan. For the rye, this recipe is good with any brand. But if you really love Manhattans and don’t mind shelling out, try to find Old Potrero Rye. It makes this cocktail soar.
Vermouth comes in tons of different brands and styles, and the different tastes can affect how many drops of bitters you want to add, or whether you want any at all. My friend Matt, who perfected this recipe, tried several types and combinations before deciding on Dolin Rouge plus bitters. I love the results. Also be aware: unlike hard liquor, vermouth spoils. To avoid waste, I buy a small bottle and store it in the fridge after opening, where it keeps for six months or so.
We need to talk about cherries. Maraschino cherries of the fire engine-red, artificial-tasting variety have their place. For instance, I love one on top of a pina colada. But a high-quality maraschino cherry, like the kind Luxardo makes, is a whole other animal. It tastes natural, and it’s essential for some cocktails. It’s a pain to find them in stores, but you can order a jar online, and it’s worth it. They’ll last about two years after you open the jar, as long as the syrup in the jar is covering the cherries and you store them in a cool, dark spot (Luxardo recommends avoiding the fridge, because the cold can cause sugars in the cherries to crystallize). We’ll be posting another great recipe soon that uses high-quality cherries, to help you get more use out of them.
2 oz Rye whiskey
1 oz Sweet vermouth (I highly recommend Dolin Rouge here)
1 Dash of bitters (Angostura is good)
1 High-quality maraschino cherry (such as Luxardo brand)
Orange peel (optional)
- Pour the rye and vermouth over ice in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake, but not too vigorously since you don’t want the ice to melt too much and dilute your flavors.
- Strain into a glass. Add the bitters and cherry.
- Optional: Squeeze an orange peel to release the oils and run it around the rim of the glass, then discard the peel.