Saturday, September 8, 2012

Manhattan Variations: Saratoga Cocktail

DJ HawaiianShirt of Spirited Remix suggested that this Manhattan relative might make an interesting taste comparison with the more familiar standard. It’s certainly very grand, swapping half the whiskey with brandy. I went all the way and made mine with Courvoisier and 100-proof rye, just as I sometimes do with Sazeracs. The vermouth on the first round was with Martini & Rossi—good to be sure—but it was much richer when made with the dense and vanillic Carpano Antica as Paul Clarke suggests.

I made a Saratoga and a Manhattan with the same amounts of spirits, bitters and vermouth, and the housemate and I each had a half. We agreed that the Saratoga was rounder, silkier, more contemplative. The Manhattan seemed edgier, like its weight was shifted slightly forward.

I dunno that I have a preference per se except to note that for all my years in San Francisco, my feet still wanna get me everywhere in a New York minute.


Saratoga Cocktail
  • 1 oz rye
  • 1 oz cognac
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Lemon twist.

This recipe, more or less, appears in Jerry Thomas’s Bar-Tender’s Guide, as per my usual my time machine for the 19th-century cocktail, David Wondrich’s Imbibe!

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