So I’ve been playing around a little bit with rye whiskey lately. There was a dry spell leading up to my surgery and for some time afterwards, but once I was off pain medications, the CGP was relieved that I returned to my previous cocktail goddess status. I’d had a sip of a Manhattan at my neighbors’ sometime over the holidays — and it struck me as something I’d like to perfect.
I went with rye whiskey as it’s the traditional whiskey for a Manhattan. The typical Manhattan is a 2:1 ratio of rye to vermouth. I’ve even seen 3:1. I tried both and they were just too rye-heavy. Equal amounts of rye and vermouth were just too sweet. So I settled on the 3:2 ratio as being Just Right for me. The traditional method calls for putting the ice and liquids into a cocktail shaker, stirring about 50 times until the outside of the glass starts to frost, then straining into a martini glass and garnishing with a cherry. Again, a little too strong for me — I liked it on the rocks and sipped slowly.
I’ve been perfectly happy with Wild Turkey Rye and Martini Rossi sweet vermouth. Both are reasonably priced and easy to find. Turns out the CGP isn’t too fond of Manhattans, which means I don’t run out of ANY of the ingredients!
3 cubes of ice
2 stem-on maraschino cherries
3 – 4 dashes bitters
1 teaspoon juice from the cherry jar
2 tablespoons sweet vermouth
3 tablespoons rye whiskey
Place the ice in a rocks glass. Drop in the cherries. Dash the bitters onto the ice. Add the vermouth and rye. Stir about 15 times with a cocktail spoon. Let percolate a few minutes before you imbibe.