The alphageek is not really a big mixed drink guy. Why ruin the taste of a great base alcohol with other ingredients that just cover up the taste? However, there is a drink that is a great sipper, and is easy to make and has many small subtle variations: the Manhattan. Plus, you get to add bourbon. An earlier article discussed making a Manhattan using the perfect way. Since that article was published, many new combinations have been attempted, with many interesting success stories combined with a failure or two along the way.
Today, is short and sweet: a simple combination for a Manhattan that removes the bite of the rye and mellows out the sweetness of the vermouth and cherry into a few ounces of liquid joy.
Before just running on at the mouth about the recipe, keep in mind that each of these ingredients could be an article, or even a series of articles all on its own. For now, just go with making a drink to relax. If you want to change the ingredients, that is fine! However, you will get a slightly different taste. Go ahead, make the drink your own.
I started with some Pikesville Straight Rye Whiskey, 110 proof. At 110 proof and being a rye, there is considerable bite. I did not really care for sipping something this strong. However, there is a strong flavor there that works in this drink. Use two parts of the Rye.
Next is vermouth, and I go with a classic: Antica Formula from Carpano. This is a sweet vermouth that balances out the Rye nicely. Don’t get mixed up and get something else by Carpano. You will need one part vermouth.
I found some cherries that were an impulse purchase that worked out. Go with Filthy Red Cherry. They make other cherries, and those are good too but I make this variation with Filthy Red Cherry. The suggested cherry is some sort of not sundae sweet maraschino cherry.
Finally, I add a dash or two of Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters. I think bitters is not quite the right description. In this bitters bottle, I get a sweetness that is not really bitters, but that is what makes this bitters work with the strong Rye. The sweetness balances with the harshness of the Rye to make a smooth, enjoyable drink.
Oh, go get one of those ice cube trays that make the giant ice cubes. Those giant ice cubes just make for an awesome drink.