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Manhattan

The classic Manhattan inspired many variations and derivatives. Here are a few of the good ones.

The Blackthorne Cocktail

We have Gary Regan to thank for the modern Blackthorne Cocktail. The basic model of the drink has been around for something like a hundred years, Continue reading “The Blackthorne Cocktail”

The Deshler Cocktail

The Deshler Cocktail is a WWI-era relative of the Manhattan. I’m not a boxing historian, but I’m told the “Deshler” in question was Dave Deshler, an American lightweight boxer in the early years of the 20th century. I know nothing of his boxing, but it seems he was good enough to inspire a well-constructed cocktail, I suppose as homage to one of his victories. Continue reading “The Deshler Cocktail”

Drinking the French Quarter: The Vieux Carré Cocktail

The Vieux Carré is New Orleans’ contribution to the Manhattan family. More specifically, it is a Saratoga, sweetened with a splash of Bénédictine and the city’s historic Peychaud’s bitters. Continue reading “Drinking the French Quarter: The Vieux Carré Cocktail”

The Scotch Saratoga

I love it when forgotten ideas return, especially the ones I’ve shrugged off as “surely doomed,” and then they reappear as great stuff.

That’s how Scotch whisky got into my Saratoga cocktail. Continue reading “The Scotch Saratoga”

Arnaud’s Special Cocktail

Scotch whisky has a very small repertoire when it  comes to mixing cocktails; only a handful have achieved fame, and even fewer popularity—Blood and Sand, Rob Roy, Rusty Nail, perhaps the Mamie Taylor. There’s a reason for this, of course—malt, peat, and smoke are assertive flavors, and you have to favor them just to get into the game; even if you like Scotch, there is no guarantee that mixing it with other stuff will provide an acceptable result. Continue reading “Arnaud’s Special Cocktail”

Saratoga Cocktail

When one of my friends asked for a Saratoga Cocktail recently, I was skeptical. I had tried this drink before, and I was not impressed. It seemed unbalanced, or unfinished—the flavors just didn’t seem to blend well. This time around, it was an astonishingly delicious and well-balanced drink. I’ll grant that my tastes have evolved since then, but I think the real reason the Saratoga tasted better this time has everything to do with a different mix of ingredients, particularly the vermouth. Continue reading “Saratoga Cocktail”

1794 Cocktail — the Boulevardier Comes to Manhattan

The 1794 Cocktail is a welcome modernization of the Boulevardier, whiskey-heavy, with rye in place of bourbon. Attributed to Dominic Venegas, it is a natural evolution of that drink, and changes a classic but not-so-good mishmash into a deliciously bright and drinkable Manhattanesque whiskey cocktail. Continue reading “1794 Cocktail — the Boulevardier Comes to Manhattan”

The Red Hook Cocktail

So many flavors, so little time. I finally got around to trying the Red Hook Cocktail after Imbibe included it in its cover article on “The 25 Most Influential Cocktails of the Past Century” (Paul Clark, May/June 2010). Whether the Red Hook really has earned a place on that list in the six years since its invention* I really can’t say. I can say that it had an instant and favorable influence on me; at least for now, it has supplanted the Manhattan in my personal cocktail rotation. Continue reading “The Red Hook Cocktail”

Manhattan Cocktail, Cold and Dusky

…give us the manhattan, cold and dusky in a frosted glass, the luxurious swirl of rye and vermouth, a dash of Angostura bitters for tone, the one and only cocktail that really demands a cherry. Mark Kingwell, Classic Cocktails, a Modern Shake

There you have the template for one of the oldest of the classic cocktails. Various stories place the invention of the Manhattan in the 1870s or early 1880s, predating even the venerable martini. As with many of the great cocktails, there seems to be some mystery about its whereabouts before its first appearance in print; the Manhattan is first recorded in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas’s Bon Vivant’s Companion. Continue reading “Manhattan Cocktail, Cold and Dusky”

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