Ah, yes.  What cocktail to select for my first post?  I felt it needed to be a timeless classic. One that was instantly recognizable to all, from boozehounds to teetotalers alike. Two obvious choices came to mind:  the Martini and the Manhattan. From there, the choice was easy – I just really really like Manhattans. And so here it is.


The Manhattan first showed up in Jerry Thomas’ revised edition of “How to Mix Drinks, or the Bon Vivant’s Companion”, which actually called for a higher ratio of vermouth to whiskey, along with a touch of orange curaçao and a few dashes of Boker’s bitters. Today, the ratio is usually 2:1 whiskey to vermouth.

  • 2 oz. Rittenhouse rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth
  • 3 dashes of Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s Boker’s bitters

Add ingredients to fancy pants mixing glass, fill that bad boy up with ice, and stir until you feel in your gut that it’s cold enough and you’ve reached the optimal level of dilution (I did about 18 seconds).  Strain into a cocktail glass of your choosing and garnish with delicious cherries.  You could also do a lemon twist in a pinch, say, if your roommate threw your cherries out when he was cleaning the fridge.

Those who know me know that I am a big fan of Rittenhouse.  Its 100% rye mashbill and 100 proof bottling provides robust, spicy flavours that are perfect for cocktails.  Along with the complexity of the Antica Formula, which includes a nice herbal bitter finish, this Manhattan is hearty, extremely well balanced, with a lovely sweetness and a hint of herbs.  The Boker’s bitters also add a little je ne sais quoi compared to the Angostura standard.  In summary, this was absolutely superb.