Saturday, May 26, 2012

Manhattan: Dry, Off-Dry, Off-Off-Dry

We drink a lot of Manhattans here at the Lounge, probably more than anything else, though we don’t have the Dry much, if ever. Yeah, I know—it’s one of the established variations, popularized by Ol’ Blue Eyes and the Rat Pack. I guess the last time I had one until recently was about seven years ago. It wasn’t bad, exactly, but dull—probably the fault of indifferent dry vermouth.

The Dry seems a little better now. Orange bitters compliment the white vermouth and turn it floral and summery. I was experimenting and trying to decide which bitters I liked best with the Dry, and actually ran out of dry vermouth. (Somebody keeps making Martinis around here too.) Reaching for the Cocchi Americano instead, I found that an off-dry version was very tasty indeed and, well, more like a Manhattan. (Almost Perfect?) If made almost half Cocchi Americano, it’s sorta Gilded Age, though maybe richer than I’d prefer most of the time.


Dry Manhattan
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz dry vermouth or Cocchi Americano
  • 2 dashes Regans’ No. 6 Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Orange twist.
SOURCE: COMPOSITE

Paper design: Jazz, Jean Orlebeke, eieio.

7 comments:

  1. I always thought that Bourbon and dry vermouth tasted completely awful together, but you've inspired me to try this tonight (with vermouth, not Cocchi). I haven't even heard of this recipe before!

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    1. See what you think. That time I had it in a restaurant, it arrived unfinished—no bitters, no garnish. Really boring, and not a Manhattan of any sort without the third ingredient. (On a subsequent visit, they poured me one of the worse Manhattans with sweet vermouth I’ve ever had.) For the truly dry one, Fee Bros orange was honey-like if a bit simple.

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  2. So, I'm enjoying this way more than I thought I would.

    Any drink I've made with bourbon and dry vermouth has, honestly, tasted a bit like vomit. It must have been the proportions I used... the additional vermouth in this recipe is quite pleasant.

    Then again, I was dying for a dash of simple syrup during the whole drink. I must not be made out for Dry Manhattans!

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    Replies
    1. Gotta say I liked the off-dry variations a little better myself.

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  3. Robert Hess' Stargazer (1 part lillet, 1 part rye, 1 dash ango) is along these lines. And a rather pleasant quaff. Though, I like the sound of orange bitters more than Angostura. An even more distant, though no less delicious, cousin might be this number: http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/2011/08/hong-kong-cocktail.html

    Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks—I’ll have to try those.

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  4. Another fantastic photo backdrop.

    Cheers!

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