The Maker’s Mark Manhattan, to be specific.
Into a cocktail shaker full of ice, add:
- A 6 count of Maker’s Mark Bourbon
- A 2 count sweet vermouth
- A “dash" of Angostura Bitters
- Stir, (Don’t shake!)
- Strain into a large martini glass
- Garnish with 2 Maraschino cherries
Recipe by Joe the Bartender, Passage to India Restaurant, Salem, MA
Joe the Bartender's notes: It is claimed that the Manhattan was first served to Winston Churchill's mother at New York City's Manhattan Club in 1874.
The original Manhattan was made with America rye whiskey. However, during Prohibition, rye whiskey became very difficult to get hold of, and so Canadian whiskey was used. At the end of Prohibition , it was decided, (by whom I don't know,) that American whiskey should again be used for this American drink. Unfortunately, the production of rye whiskey is a slow process which requires a very long . The bourbon distilleries where able to get back on track much faster, hence the replacement of bourbon for rye.
I know some of you purists out there will not agree with my choice of Bourbon, but what the hell this is about what I like.
I have just returned from a trip with some like-minded bartender friends from a Rodeo in Fort Worth Texas.
After a day of having our senses abused by the smell of horse #@*! and being surrounded by some very large and noisy Texans, we went in search of some more comfortable surroundings, ie. a bar. On entering said establishment we ambled up to the bar to see what was on offer. One of my colleagues spotted a bottle of Makers Mark. After some instruction, the young cowgirl barkeep was able to produce a rather splendid MM Manhattan. We spent the rest of the evening consuming rather a large quantity of these, as well as plates of some indistinguishable meat. I believe there was some interaction with a mechanical bull at some stage of the evening, but after all those fabulous Manhattans, it all becomes rather a blur.
Chris the Barfly's notes: Without the contrasting benefit of Texans, cowgirls or bulls, mechanical or otherwise, I was presented with this classic and venerable cocktail by Joe.
My first impression was that this is surely not for nuns, teetotalers or kiddies. The Maker's Manhattan has all its burrs; unsanded or smoothed, and is a cocktail requiring a somewhat more seasoned palate. Made famous by Ol’ Blue Eyes and his Rat Pack, The Manhattan became the symbol of style and among the most famous of cocktails.
Now, I have never visited those smoky New York hang-outs of Frankie, Sammy, Dino, and the boys, but one can't help feeling a bit more sophisticated with this little bowl of bravado soup at one's side. It was about mid-way through it, I found myself wishing that I had this with a cigar. Perhaps a nice Cuban, sitting in a plush wing-backed chair in front of a fire. Because that is what this drink does; Makes you feel warm inside and give you a feeling of being spoiled by simple pleasures.
No wonder Frankie and his gang drank them.