Cocktail Hour | French Manhattan


Ahh, the classic Manhattan is a thing of beauty. I've had some bad ones and I've had some great ones. Normally it's the drink I use as a measuring stick to see how good a bartender is (that or an Old Fashioned). Then I pass judgment on them. Then I decide whether or not I'll order drinks from them again. Because honestly, cocktails are so dang expensive around here, unless my mind is totally blown, I'd rather just go home and make my own. Preferably in my stretchy pants, braless, and completely sealed off from the outside world. This is "me time" now honey. 


Like most classic cocktails, the Manhattan has many supposed origin stories. The most popular being that it was invented by a Doctor/secret-at-home-mixologist at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, during a party hosted by Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill's Mother, in honor of the presidential candidate Samuel J Tilden. (That sentence was waaaaay too long good lord) It was so popular that, even after the party, people began requesting the drink, referring to it by the name of the club it originated from. Unfortunately, this story is impossible not only because Jennie was in Europe at the time, but she was also very much pregnant with Churchill. Another tale that seems more plausible is that this drink was invented by a bartender known only by the name of "Black" during that same time in NY. 

Well, regardless of how it happened, this simple and elegant drink was at one time viewed as the drink of drinks. Much more popular than the Martini or Martinez. 



This version of the Manhattan is slightly sweeter and very smooth. Majorly smooth. <-- (Does anyone remember that song? Such a hot song man. Play that song while you drink this drink and tell me how chill it was) To me, its the perfect drink for these chilly winter months that are still hanging on. We really want a spring drink, but it just ain't time yet. 

Above is my dad's drink book. This is something he created a few years ago and it's one of my all time favorites. So, thanks Dad <3


The traditional recipe includes Rye, Sweet Italian Vermouth, a dash of angostura bitters and as of the 1900th century, a cherry. As you can see, mine differs substantially. Heaven strike me down for subbing Cognac for Rye, how dare I. 






The best way to mix up a Manhattan is to stir it, NOT shake it. Shaking a drink creates a lot of dilution, and especially with a heavily booze driven drink like a Manhattan, that's the last thing I want. James Bond, what were you thinking?? Apparently cool spy guy likes his martinis watery. Gross.


Pro Tip #1: If you're unsure as to how long to stir you drink, 50 times is a solid amount. It might sound like too long, but it really isn't. 



Shooting and pouring a drink at the same time did not end well for me. The first time I tried it, I dumped the drink directly on the table. It's real classy up in here.



Pro Tip #2: When you peel off the twist of lemon, try and do so above your drink, that way you catch all those lovely oils. They help brighten the flavors up.

French Manhattan:

1 1/2 oz Cognac (I used Hennessy)
1 1/2 oz Sweet Italian Vermouth
1 oz Cointreau
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Twist of lemon
1 brandied cherry

Fill a mixing glass 1/4 of the way with ice and add all of the liquors. Stir well and stain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Add a twist of lemon and a brandied cherry. Enjoy! (How stinking easy was that??) 

Print the recipe here




-skyler

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