Make a Manhattan

In an earlier post, we tasted some bottled Manhattan.  This bottling has inspired an entire line of blog posts over on the companion site, alphageek talks food.  Since there was actually a question, we devote today's article to making a Manhattan.

Sure, you can google how to make a Manhattan.  There are a lot of opinions out there. This is our column, so this is our opinion. 

Ingredients are key to a good Manhattan.  First and foremost, you need bitters. Rather than go buy something exotic, get the classic: Angostura bitters.  You can get them at most grocery stores, and other places that can sell bar supplies. You need some whiskey. There is a lot of variety here, so I will cut down your options.  Get either some Jim Beam Rye, or some of your favorite bourbon. Get some sweet vermouth. Get the sweet vermouth at the grocery store too. Any sweet vermouth the grocery store has will make a great drink.

Technique is the next step. Half fill a rocks glass with ice. Add two shots of the Jim Beam Rye or bourbon.  Add one shot of the sweet vermouth. Add two dashes of the Angostura bitters. Stir everything up and taste. I cannot emphasize enough that these ratios are guidance only. For example, I use four dashes of bitters, not two. i then like to take out all of the ice, but one cube. Leave them all, or remove however many make you happy. I think the drink should be cold, so I leave a cube in.

After you get what you like, you might want to consult google to find variations. Don't forget to enjoy!

Big Bottom

Okay, stop laughing.  This is a real bourbon.  No, I did not make this name up.  Here, take a look at the picture below. 

Big Bottom Bourbon

The decision to purchase this was really easy.  I was at one of my favorite places to purchase bourbon, Green's Liquor in Greenville, SC.  Yes, Green's in Greenville.  Green's carries several interesting bourbons that don't seem to be available many other places.  I decided to try something that was non-traditional, so I went with bourbon not from Kentucky.

Big Bottom is an interesting drink.  On the back, it says that it is named after someplace in Oregon, which is where the label said this was made.  It also said that Big Bottom has a considerable amount of rye in the mix.  Usually, I am not a fan of rye, but i dove right in.

This bourbon has a mild nose.  I decided to just try it neat, and I have to say after many more drinks, I am not sure what to make of Big Bottom.  At first, I did not like Big Bottom, but I warmed up a little.  I did find that the taste was good, but mild.  A little ice caused the flavor to become almost weak.  

Some other observations.  It does not make a very good Manhattan.  The bitters totally clobbered the taste of the bourbon and destroyed that balance I like in my Manhattans.  So much for rye in a Manhattan.  I think this bourbon would make a great drink where the strong flavor of some bourbons is not called for, like a Mint Julep for my Wahoo friend.

We made some other purchases at Green's, so check back for more reviews.  Until next time.

36TH Vote Barreled Manhattan

Manhattans?  While the alphageek sometimes drinks a Manhattan, it is not usually something that the alphageek seeks out.  The drink just does not usually excite the alphageek, and certainly does not inspire excitement.

That feeling has changed.

Enter 36th Vote Barreled Manhattan.  This bottle contains an already made Manhattan concoction.  To top things off, it is made with rye whiskey rather than bourbon.  The alphageek has tried rye before and did not like rye.  This new drink is something you should seek out.  It was so good, one of the rules was broken, and I researched the drink online.  Short version: they mix the Manhattan and age it in an oak barrel.

The first sip exploded with sweet and delicious flavor.  To say that this drink is smooth is more than an understatement, smooth would not be far enough.  There are more flavors here than I have the words to describe.

I used to say I was not a Manhattan kind of guy.

I used to say I was not a rye kind of guy.

I might be a 36TH Vote Barreled Manhattan kind of guy.

Below, is the person who said I could try this incredible drink with him, Big Dick.  Its okay, he said I can call him Big Dick.  I think his picture pretty much sums everything up.

Hey, leave a comment.  Those comments still work, right?