1 oz Bourbon <Woodford Reserve>
1 oz White Whiskey <Bully Boy>
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth <Dolin>
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth <Dolin>
Few dashes Angostura Bitters
Few Dashes Orange Bitters <Regan’s>
Stir ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry (or two).
If I could only order one drink for the rest of my life, it may very well be a Perfect Manhattan. There is something wonderful that happens when you put sweet and dry vermouth together in the same glass. A subtle tweak that really changes the personality of this classic.
But why stop at splitting the vermouths? Can we take things a step further? Mai Tai’s and other tiki drinks use this effect by combining light and dark rums. The analogy can be extended to the whiskey world with bourbon and white whiskey. In fact, I already tried it once in my first swizzle, Drop It Like It’s Hot. That one turned out pretty well, so maybe I sort of inceptioned myself with the idea of trying that approach in a Manhattan.
Since we’re working with one of my desert island drinks as the template for the Perfect Plex, I’ll stick to Woodford Reserve for the standard portion. No matter what other weird whiskeys end up in my bar, it is always stocked with a bottle of this stuff. The white whiskey is a local offering from Bully Boy, based here in Boston. It was part of their original lineup when they launched a few years ago, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. They manage to pack a lot of flavors into this unaged spirit.
Perfect Manhattan’s trademark dryness shows up here, but dialed up another notch. The white whiskey takes even more sweetness out of the drink, and adds subtle banana and vanilla notes. It even makes a little more room for the grapes in the vermouth to stretch their legs. Things don’t get too crazy though, and overall the Perfect Plex stays pretty close to the trunk of the Manhattan family tree.
Since I’m doubling down on the “perfect” theme, I needed a name that embodied perfection. Who better than the old WWE superstar, Mr. Perfect. His gimmick is right there in his name, and his finisher was called the Perfect Plex. Just the name for a drink that could put you down for the count if you have one too many.