2 oz Bourbon <Woodford Reserve>
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Cointreau
Few dashes orange bitters <Fee Brothers>
Stir with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry*
When I thought about how to start this whole blog thing off, there was only one drink to write about…the Manhattan. You could call it my gateway cocktail. The first proper drink I started making for myself at home. It is my go to at bars when I’m overwhelmed by options or there are practically none to be seen. Besides its subtle classiness and undeniable deliciousness, what I love about it most is its versatility. And I don’t mean the fact that you could get it with bourbon, rye, or make it perfect. These days I look at the classic Manhattan recipe of 2 oz whiskey, 1 oz vermouth as an easy template for coming up with my own variations. The simplest thing to do is drop the vermouth down to 1/2 oz, and then throw in a 1/2 oz of whatever bottle catches your fancy. This is nothing groundbreaking, as the sultry Red Hook has been around for a while (and is amazing), along with many others. But I’ve found it a fantastic jumping off point to get creative with one of my favorite drinks.
Above is the New Amsterdam, which brings orange into the mix with some Cointreau and orange bitters. The name is a reference to the strong dutch influence in New York orange is their national color, after all). It’s a touch sweeter than a normal Manhattan, but the citrus notes balance things out well.
2 oz white whiskey <Bully Boy>
1/2 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz St. Germain
Few dashes of Angostura bitters
Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a cherry or two.
For the Canarsie I decided to switch up the base with a white whiskey. It lends a malty dryness to the drink which was interesting. The Punt e Mes adds some bite and is a little nod to the red hook, while the St. Germain gives everything a velvety smoothness. I decided to name it after where my parents grew up in Brooklyn, cuz the outer boroughs need more love in the cocktail world.
* Pro tip: if you have a special someone in your life who you are sharing drinks with, throw in an extra cherry for them to earn some brownie points