I really love the Manhattan. On its own (2 ounces whiskey, preferably rye, 1 ounce sweet vermouth, 2 dashes bitters), it leaves room for a ton of variety. Even better, it’s easy to play around with the template and still end up with a drinkable beverage. Search the internet for “Manhattan variations” and you’ll have enough hits to keep you busy for months. Today, I looked to the South in order to visit a Manhattan suburb (apologies to East Coasters who don’t consider Jersey a ‘burb), and was pleasantly surprised to find a delicious Manhattan variant. I am generally not a huge fan of maraschino, but this small jot was perfect to elevate the drink. I added some of my favorite bitters since I used Carpano Antica rather than Punt e Mes as recommended in the recipe. From Thirsty South.
I was looking for an older standard tonight, so I mixed a Diamondback. This deceptively simple rye drink is a lovely contrast in flavors (spicy rye, sweet apple brandy, and herbal chartreuse), but still sweet enough for easy sipping (yellow chartreuse is one of my favorite herbal spirits).
I’m still working to find a good expression for the rhubarb liqueur I bought, but sadly, today’s attempt hasn’t gotten me any closer. Although the liqueur itself is sweet and provides great rhubarb flavor, I find that it gets swallowed easily by other modifiers. Today’s attempt is not a bad drink, but still not quite what I’m looking for. I guess I just have more work to do…. oh darn.
There’s nothing like mixing a cocktail to refresh yourself after a visit to the gym! I’m surprised I haven’t yet tried this particular Manhattan variation as it falls into the area where I started my cocktail adventure: original post-Prohibition cocktail recipe books. It’s a good drink, although I wouldn’t necessarily choose it over a straight Manhattan. The flavors are very similar, and to be honest, it’s just a couple steps too many to make it a contender. Still, not a bad start to the week. Via Bartender’s Choice app.
It’s been a long time since my last post, but I’m coming back online with a bang. Last night my husband and I attended the Peace, Love, and Cocktails event, part of the annual Feast Portland food festival. Like Toast and Proof, Peace Love, and Cocktails combined the best parts of food, drink, and mingling with like-minded folks. It was hosted by House Spirits Distillery and featured some of their great products, including Aviation Gin. We also had the bonus of some fantastic bartenders mixing drinks on-demand, including the fantastic Jim Meehan, formerly of PDT in New York and currently of Mixography, Inc. here in Portland. I’m a huge fan of Jim’s work, so getting to meet him in person turned me into a bit of fangirl, I admit. His cocktail for the evening, Bee’s Ransom, was a tart and slightly edgier riff on the Bee’s Knees. Another standout for me was Jeffrey Morganthaler’s Triple Lindy, an incredibly refreshing combination of gin, lemon, and ginger. This was perfectly balanced and ideal for the gorgeous Indian summer evening (80 degrees and clear skies in mid-September? I LOVE autumn in Portland). Accompanying the cocktails was a great selection of bites, including an elk brasaola that had me returning to the food table a number of times.
I admit, as someone who works from home, it’s sometimes difficult to summon the will to get dressed up and leave the house, especially for a long, traffic-y drive into the city on a Friday evening. But this event was completely worth it and reminded just how much I enjoy the cocktail adventure I’ve been on for the past few years. The weather, company, and delicious drinks and nibbles all reminded me that getting out of the house can yield fantastic results. Cheers!