My drink of choice this winter has been the Manhattan. It’s hard to mess this drink up but I can say that it is also hard to find it made properly in Knoxville. The recipe is simple. It’s often served on the rocks and without bitters. Made with a high end bourbon like Pappy Van Winkle it is the most wonderful drink to ever touch your lips. All the info below is from Gary Regan’s “The Joy of Mixology.” It’s the bible for cocktail history and recipes.
2 ounces of bourbon or straight rye whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
Angostura, Peychaud’s, or orange bitters to taste (start with 2 dashes)
1 maraschino cherry for garnish
Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add the garnish.
“The drink that changed the face of cocktails. The Manhattan as far as I can ascertain, is the first drink that called for vermouth as a modifier, and it is still going very strong today. It is the father of the Martinez, the grandpop of the Martini, and the founder of all French-Italian cocktails. Quite simply, when properly constructed it is the finest cocktail on the face of the earth.” Gary Regan
One variation I did with this drink at BaconFest 2009 was to add a couple dashes of maraschino cherry liquor and then garnished it with a bourbon soaked cherry and a small piece of bacon. The bacon turned out to be superfluous but the bourbon cherry was great.