drink2that: Sandy MANHATTAN

RER 10.30.12
RER 10.30.12
After growing tired of reading by candlelight (believe me, this is strenuous, on the eyes and the mind) and getting weary of worrying about water in the dark, my family turned to Manhattans. A classic drink, involving bourbon whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters, maraschino cherries and orange peel (though we skipped the orange because we did not have it).

The drink gets its name through either myth or fact, from its birth and popularity on the island of Manhattan in New York City. The myth, contrived of dinner parties for the elite in the 1870s, counters prior references to a similar drink, created in what we know as Lower Manhattan. [1]

This drink traditionally employed rye whiskey, or an American whiskey, but presently involves a bourbon whiskey more often than not.[2] Sweet vermouth, also comes in different shades, white or red, popular in cocktails but also as an apertif.[3] Bitters on the other hand, is a blend of herbs and spices. The particular brand we used was in fact, Angostura, which was developed in 1824 by Surgeon General Dr. Siegert.[4]

For one serving:

3/4 oz  sweet vermouth
2 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 dash bitters  
1 maraschino cherry
1 twist orange peel

aka 1:2 ratio of sweet vermouth to whiskey

Check out a video here.

Because of the popularity and ease, Manhattans are the subject of a host of different varieties. Different ratios interplay with different liquors, and even different accents. Because of the superstorm Sandy, a new variation of the Manhattan was born, called the Sandy, which is a watered down Manhattan (how fitting).[5]
RER 10.30.12
I must say, I do not share my mother’s taste for Manhattans (though she admitted after this Sandy adventure, these drinks were loosing her favor). For some reason I’m not wild about the strong taste. All the flavors are very pronounced and relentless. To me there is no arch that brings my mouth back for more. Although there are various layers of flavor from the bitters to the very sweet vermouth, there is no rest or definition. The maraschino cherry is a nice addition and garnish, adding a burst of sweetness to compliment the sweetness in the bourbon whiskey and the vermouth. Though it is not enough to bring the whole drink to a level of comfort for me.

I preferred the next night of darkness’s drink, the easy breezy (though less classy), rum coke and Kahlua. Probably because it is sweeter and less harsh, easier on the tongue.

Making drinks is always fun in the dark.
RER 10.30.12

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_%28cocktail%29
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_%28cocktail%29
[3] http://www.drinksmixer.com/desc361.html
[4] http://www.angosturabitters.com/About
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_%28cocktail%29

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food for thought...