The name Manhattan has a very evocative quality to it. The glamour, power, and panache that the name embodies are lucrative for many people. It was not surprising then when our readers asked us to breakdown the cocktail for them and share how to actually make a decently good Manhattan. Don’t forget to thank us when your date asks you to fix her a drink at your place and is mightily impressed by your bartending skills.
First things first - you need a proper cocktail glass, one with a good stem and a wide and deep bowl. One aspect that make cocktails so lucrative is the experience of drinking it. For a proper Manhattan, your regular whisky glass won’t do the trick. Place the cocktail glass in a freezer, 10 minutes before you start making the cocktail as Manhattans are served straight up or without ice. Fill one-third of a shaker with ice, and add 60 millilitres of bourbon, and 30 millilitres of Vermouth. We went with Jim Beam for its smooth texture and mellow flavour, and with Martini Rosso as that was the only familiar brand that we could find. As angostura bitters are painfully obtuse to get one’s hands on, we went with a couple of dashes of Jägermeister, and a drop of orange peel extract. Once you have everything in the shaker, add a few more ice cubes and give it a good, vigorous shake. Strain the liquid into the cocktail glass. For garnish, drop a cherry or two into the glass. For some extra kick, we suggest using cocktail cherries or brandied cherries, which you can make on your own, by simply heating up some cherries with cinnamon, sugar and brandy. Just ensure that you have a jar of these cherries ready beforehand as they need some time to soak in all the goodness of the brandy.
There are a couple of things that you need to take care of while making a Manhattan. First, choose a whisky that suits your palate, as the flavour of the drink depends a lot on it. If you prefer something with a coarser finish, we suggest using regular, Indian whisky. However, avoid using scotch. The vermouth will kill the flavour of the scotch, and as a wise man once said, you don’t waste good scotch. Second, serve the drink with ice, as it not only dilutes everything, it completely knackers the taste profile as well.