People tend to be incredulous when they discover I've never been to New York. Especially New Yorkers, right? I assure them it's not some California vs. New York thing. I haven't made the trip for the same reason I've never done pharmaceuticals for fun - I'm the teensiest bit worried I'd like it too much.
But - events have conspired such that, at the grand old age of 44, I'm leaving today and will wake up in that city that never sleeps. To commemorate the trip, I mixed myself a Manhattan last night. And after all, people have been asking me, Where can a guy get a drink around here? Ain't this Drinks With Nick? Where'd the drinks go ferkryingoutloud?
So - the Manhattan. It's really the perfect cocktail - has more going on than a martini. And there are variations, indeed, for the structure is there for you to play with. I started with the strictures set out by my dad's fifty-year-old copy of the Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender's Guide. To whit:
1 Dash Bitters
3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1 1/2 oz Old Mr. Boston Whiskey
Stir well with cracked ice and strain into 3 oz. cocktail glass. Serve with a cherry.
For bitters, I used Peychaud's - I like the New Orleans connection, and it's sweeter than Angostura. There's no Old Mr. Boston in the cupboard, so I used Michter's Bourbon. The cherry, of course, is Luxardo. We've talked of this, yes? Really, get a jar and open heaven.
Mix one tonight - while I'm airborne trying to glean a Giants' update from a stewardess.
Now if I could just find a pair of vagabond shoes...