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Thread: Manhattan

  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
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    Manhattan

    I'm struggling to make a good manhattan at home. I tried different bourbons and ryes. I've tried Martini & Rossi red and white. I've tried Antica Formula. I've got Reagan's orange bitters. I've tried a variety of cherries. I've got a nice shaker from C&B.

    My guess is that either the vermouth or the bitters is damaging the taste. I'm mindful to just put a drop of bitters in the drink now. Maybe my vermouth is bad or the red simply spoils the taste regardless of condition. Maybe any vermouth is a killer at this point and just some whiskey and water better fits the bill.

    Anyone out there having similar problems or have a worthy approach to making one?

  2. #2
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    Re: Manhattan

    I too have been searching for a great Manhattan recipe, I have been experimenting quite a bit myself, but I'll just share with you what has been my favorite recipe thus far.

    2.5oz Bulleit Bourbon
    .75oz Martini & Rossi Rosso (Sweet Vermouth)
    .75oz Martini & Rossi Extra Dry Vermouth
    3 Dashes Fee Brothers Orange bitters
    1 Star Maraschino Cherry

    Pour all the Bourbon and Vermouth(s) over ice in a metal cocktail shaker.
    Stir for 15-30 seconds (making sure not to cause any bubbles or too much agitation).
    Strain into chilled cocktail glass
    Add bitters and cherry, stir once more very briefly.

    That's been my favorite thus far, I added the drier vermouth as the sweet vermouth left the drink too sweet for my liking.

    Good luck to you, its always fun just trying new recipes until you find one you like.

    -Also remember, vermouth DOES go bad, I keep mine in the fridge, and just purchase the 375ml bottles as I don't go through much at all.

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Manhattan

    Angostora Bitters & Dolan Vermouth (red) makes me (and my Manhattans) very happy.
    tl; dnr

  4. #4
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    Re: Manhattan

    My wife cannot abide by hard liquor, but she loves this:

    4 parts Rittenhouse Rye BIB
    1 part Noilly Prat Red
    2 dashes Angostura bitters
    1 Maraschino cherry

    I just mix the bitters and vermouth in a chilled glass and add pre-chilled rye to it, stir for a bit and add the cherry. It's strong as $@*$ but it tastes so deliciously smooth with highly approachable herbs and spices. I have seen people say and do crazy stuff after a couple of these...

    That said, I think the suggestion of mixing half sweet and half dry vermouth might be better than just the sweet stuff. I, too, think Manhattans in general are too sweet.

  5. #5
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    Re: Manhattan

    Some important steps.

    1. Use filtered water (at least) for ice.
    2. Keep baking soda in the freezer so ice doesn't acquire any additional tastes.
    3. Get some Noilly Prat (sweet) and/or Boissiere (for dry) Vermouth.

    Recipes and percentages can vary, though I am partial to a "perfect" Manhattan (1/2 sweet and 1/2 dry vermouth), but you can't make a great Manhattan with bad ice or mediocre (or poor), vermouth.

    In short, put as much thought into your other ingredients as you do into what Bourbon you choose.

  6. #6
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    Re: Manhattan

    The Vermouth is more important than the Rye or Bourbon. If the history I have seen is correct this was a drink originally created to showcase the Vermouth and the Rye or Bourbon was in the background.

    Try experimenting with different brands of Vermouth - the Party Source has some interesting ones available with good descriptions on line if your local selection sucks as much as mine does.

    Also remember that Vermouth goes bad very quickly once it's opened and must be kept refrigerated to slow the spoilage.

  7. #7
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    Re: Manhattan

    Anybody try this vermouth? http://www.imbuecellars.com/

    I was thinking of trying some and would like your thoughts.

    Best regards, tony

  8. #8
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    Re: Manhattan

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor22 View Post
    The Vermouth is more important than the Rye or Bourbon. If the history I have seen is correct this was a drink originally created to showcase the Vermouth and the Rye or Bourbon was in the background.
    My guess is that the choice of rye matters more than a little. Different ryes can have astoundingly different flavor profiles.

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor22 View Post
    Also remember that Vermouth goes bad very quickly once it's opened and must be kept refrigerated to slow the spoilage.
    I didn't know that - I just made some vermouth ice cubes that hopefully will slow that down even more.

  9. #9
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    Re: Manhattan

    2 oz Blantons
    1 oz homemade apple brandy
    .5 oz Vermouth (much less than most)
    2 dashes Angostura bitters
    1 large ice cube

    Like the OP, I struggled with the vermouth until I made it only a seventh of the overall drink. Any more ruins it for me.

  10. #10
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    Re: Manhattan

    Quote Originally Posted by Bourbon Boiler View Post
    2 oz Blantons
    1 oz homemade apple brandy
    .5 oz Vermouth (much less than most)
    2 dashes Angostura bitters
    1 large ice cube

    Like the OP, I struggled with the vermouth until I made it only a seventh of the overall drink. Any more ruins it for me.
    Now where in the heck can we get homemade apple brandy? If you can ship, I can accept PMs

 

 

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