the manhattan

Posted by susan on August 23rd, 2010. Filed under: epicurious travel.

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a co-worker about the ingredients of a Manhattan cocktail. I confidently, and quite arrogantly, stated that the ingredients are whiskey, sweet vermouth and a maraschino cherry (though I sometimes ask for two). He corrected me with the fact that a Manhattan also contains bitters, and I couldn’t believe it. How could I go on this long without knowing the exact ingredients of my favorite cocktail? And more importantly, how could I have allowed my Mad Men party be so incomplete? What a poor hostess!

When I go out I do tend to order wine or beer, but when I am in the mood for a cocktail, it’s almost always a Manhattan. I just love whiskey. Unlike vodka, it has a flavor that can stand up against anything. It’s never in the background of a drink – it’s always what makes it.

Since my little lesson on ingredients, I feel like I have been stumbling across the drink more often. Does that ever happen to you? Like when you learn a new word and all of a sudden everyone around you uses it constantly?

In the September issue of Food & Wine there was a focus on the “50 best recipes from the new south.” In that issue I learned the southern take – a Maker’s Mark Manhattan. As you can imagine, the main ingredient is Maker’s Mark.

Also, for the past two weeks I have been frequenting Trina’s Starlite Lounge with friends. Most of the time, by the time I decide to go I have already eaten dinner, so as my friends enjoy their meals, I sit and sip a Manhattan. But not just any Manhattan, Trina’s has their own take.

Manhattan Cocktail

Their INMANhattan (cleverly nicknamed after its neighborhood) is made with rye, Carpano Antica and orange bitters. And they dress it up with an orange peel. I think it’s amazing.

Besides the whiskey, what I love about a Manhattan is that it’s classic and undeniable, no matter what form it takes. And even if you ignorantly leave out the bitters, there’s no doubt that you’re drinking a classic.

What’s your favorite cocktail? And if you had to make it, would you actually know the ingredients?

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