With the return of Mad Men this week, we’ve found ourselves going back to a few of the classics lately. While Don may be an Old Fashioned man, I prefer its cousin, the Manhattan.
The drink has as many variations as it does origin stories, but this is the way I always prepare mine.
In a mixing glass with ice, add 2 oz. of rye whiskey, 1 oz. sweet vermouth and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters and stir. Pour into an old-fashioned glass and garnish with a brandied cherry (or several).
You can choose to use bourbon here if you’d like, but I prefer the rye to compliment the sweet vermouth as bourbon is already on the sweeter side. If you’re the experimental type, Peychaud’s or orange bitters would add a new layer to a Manhattan.
We primarily use Rittenhouse Rye, an affordable, but solid, whiskey, good enough for slow sipping on its own.
As for the vermouth, we splurge a little here and go with Carpano Antica. Based on a recipe from the 18th century, Carpano Antica has a permanent spot on our bar cart. It’s splendid in cocktails, but if you drink it on its own, you’ll be entranced by the notes of vanilla, cloves, orange peel and other spices. When not enjoying it on its own, Laura likes it best in a Negroni.
The simplicity and elegance of the Manhattan make it enjoyable almost anywhere, from parties to dinner to just relaxing at home.