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  1. #21
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Houston, Tx

    Re: A Waste of Good Rye?

    Your comments on the VWSRR are dead on...lots of spice and fruit but a dit dry on the finish. I enjoy it except when I smoke a cigar. The dry finish turns bitter when combined with a good smoke.

    Randy B.

  2. #22
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Toronto, Canada

    Re: A Waste of Good Rye?

    Here is where using it for a Manhattan makes sense to me. The vermouth would reduce that dryness. So would making an Old-Fashioned. The Old-Fashioned, even more than a Manhattan or bourbon and Coke, benefits from a good whiskey. The additives (sugar, bitters, maybe some fruit slices) don't really change the basic taste. Whereas red vermouth does, in fact if too much is used it can kill the whiskey taste. Great care must be taken when confecting the cocktail to ensure that a good whiskey taste is maintained (for those who care about such things). One way of course is not to put too much vermouth in. I like a 3:1 mix, generally, whiskey to vermouth. Second, some recipes use both dry and sweet vermouths instead of only the sweet (red) kind. I read in a review of Conrad Black's new biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that the patrician East Coast recipe for the Manhattan used equal amounts of dry and sweet vermouth. (It is called a "Perfect Manhattan" in the bartending manuals). F.D.R. must have liked cocktails, he is said to have served Old-Fashioneds to King Edward VII during the Royal Visit in the U.S. in the late 1930's. Hot dogs were also served, on silver platters. The King is reported to have accepted his cocktail with gratitude. I am not sure whether he liked the franks.

    Here is a last story, we're talking about the Manhattan again:

    "Manhattan: one of the great American mixed drinks, this is said to have been evolved in 1846 in Maryland when a bartender stirred up a quick drink of whiskey, syrup and bitters to revive a wounded duellist. Moving to New York in the [18]90's, vermouth replaced syrup and the cocktail took its name from the fashionable central section of the metropolis [some people say, from the Manhattan Club in N.Y.C. where the drink allegedly was invented] .... [It is] one of the six great basic cocktails. On the other hand ... Bernard De Voto once called the Manhattan: 'an offence against piety'".

    The above quotation is from, "An Encyclopedia of Drinks and Drinking" by Frederick Martin (1978, Coles Publishing Company Limited, Toronto - Canada).

    Does anyone agree with De Voto?




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