I usually drink my whiskey straight - with a couple rocks in the summer. I like to think of myself as a rugged frontiersman swilling whiskey in a dusty saloon most of the time. However, on occasion, this image just doesn't fly. When you want to appear more civilized, but still crave a taste of whiskey go for a Manhattan. You'll look just as classy as any wine or martini drinker you're forced to converse with, and you'll have a delicious, manly drink to enjoy.
Here's how I make my Manhattans, although it's certainly a recipe worth playing around with to match your tastes.
- Martini Glass - chilled if possible - I usually throw mine in the freezer as soon as the urge to make a Manhattan hits me.
- Whiskey - I like bourbon - Maker's Mark makes a great top shelf Manhattan. On the lower end, light bourbons like Henry McKenna work fine, and even blended whiskeys like Seagram's 7 can work.
- Sweet vermouth - A fresh bottle of vermouth is good, but I personally don't mind older sweet vermouth that's oxidized a bit.
- Bitters - there are two camps in Manhattan-making, those who use bitters and those who don't. I go back and forth, but lately I've been using Angostura bitters which are easy to find. Some of the other brands out there are great to play around with for different flavor profiles.
- Cherry for garnish
- Fill the shaker to the top with ice.
- Pour in about 2 oz of Bourbon (if you have a pourer on your bottle go 6 or 7 counts).
- Add about 1/2 oz of Vermouth (1 or 2 counts with a pourer).
- Add a few dashes of bitters.
- Shake vigorously until the shaker is frosted on the outside.
- Shake it some more - can't get these things too cold.
- Strain into your chilled martini glass
- Garnish with a cherry