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Best Manhattan variations?


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116 replies to this topic

#31 Chris Amirault

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 09:03 PM

I made Manhattans at the first of my cocktail classes recently, and they were a revelation for most of the people there. To your brief list of problems in my students' past I'd add industrial "maraschino" cherries, ancient vermouth and bitters, and wet ice.
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#32 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 10:49 PM

I was thinking about all this earlier and recalled a variation I was quite fond of some time back in which a short dash of Absinthe is added to the standard formula. I was drinking a lot of these in the second half or so of last year, but I never did quite figure out if it had a preexisting name (wasn't trying very hard, either). Anyone know anything about that? I was pleased to see that that was included in the official recipe endorsed by our own Dr. Wondrich at the infamous Woodford Reserve promotion I wrote about over here. Good times.
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#33 thayes1c

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 06:32 PM

I can't believe the Rob Roy hasn't come up yet! It's probably my favorite cocktail, subbing scotch for the bourbon in a Manhattan. Bartenders seldom know what it is though, usually they think I'm asking for a Roy Rogers so I have to quickly explain that it's "A Manhattan with Scotch."

#34 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:42 PM

I can't believe the Rob Roy hasn't come up yet! It's probably my favorite cocktail, subbing scotch for the bourbon in a Manhattan. Bartenders seldom know what it is though, usually they think I'm asking for a Roy Rogers so I have to quickly explain that it's "A Manhattan with Scotch."


If only that order were a guarantee of a decent drink! My trials with trying to order Rob Roys are only marginally less grim than with Manhattan attempts. I gave up on ordering either in >95% of all drinking establishments long ago.
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#35 davicus

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 04:19 PM

While we're talking about it (sort of), I really like a Brooklyn variation, subbing the Amer Picon with Averna:

3 oz. Overholt 80*
.75 oz. NP Original
.5 oz. Averna
1/2 barspoon Luxardo M
dash Ango Orange
dash Ango
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#36 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:55 PM

Here's a good Manhattan variation that we tried tonight and really liked, another Sam Ross creation.

The Grandfather
1 oz bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
1 oz apple brandy (I used Daron Calvados)
1 oz sweet vermouth (I used Vya)
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash Peychaud bitters
3 brandied cherries

Posted Image

#37 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:43 AM

Here's a good Manhattan variation that we tried tonight and really liked, another Sam Ross creation.

The Grandfather
1 oz bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
1 oz apple brandy (I used Daron Calvados)
1 oz sweet vermouth (I used Vya)
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash Peychaud bitters
3 brandied cherries

Posted Image


I just tried this, subbing a tiny splash of Heering for the brandied cherries. It's not bad. Certainly I enjoyed it more than the standard.

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#38 Yojimbo

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:03 PM

Acknowledging the orthodoxy of Spliflicator and others that, when it comes to Manhattans, there is no substitute for a properly made one --

is it possible, psychologically speaking, to hold this truth as an item of spiritual mixological belief, but at the same time to acknowledge that "the best Manhattan variation" is second only to "the true, correct Martini recipe" in terms of potentially endless permutations based on individual preference, the mood of the moment, historic variances in ingredients and recipes, and pure whim?

And that being said (not that I'm expecting an answer) two recently tasty variations I've tried were:

1. Dushan Zaric's Employees Only formula that adds a barspoon of Grand Marnier -- particularly good to introduce newcomers to the Manhattan family

2. A variant on the Red Hook that I made for a school fundraiser of 2 oz. Rittenhouse, 1/2 oz. each Punt e Mes and Cio Ciocare, and a dash of Angostura, served with an orange twist. Without serious stirring, it was potent, but it mellowed wonderfully.

Hey, we got five boroughs here and neighborhoods multiplying and morphing as fast as the real estate flunkies can type, I say the more variations the merrier!

Edited by Yojimbo, 16 April 2012 - 05:04 PM.

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#39 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:06 AM

I made a Manhattan variation tonight called the Waldorf Cocktail (via Bartender's Choice). The only difference with the Manhattan is the absinthe rinse (I used Pernod pastis) which was a very nice addition. The Pernod was a good match with the very fruit-forward Vya sweet vermouth.


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#40 JMForester

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:23 AM

I'm fond of a Manhattan variation I came up with last year.

Eastchester
2 oz. Rittenhouse Rye 100 proof
3/4 oz. Ramazzotti Amaro
2 squirts Dutch's Colonial Bitters
stirred over ice
garnished with flamed Orange zest

#41 jacksm11

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 08:28 AM

I like the Toronto cocktail
2 oz rye
.25 oz Fernet branca
.25 oz 1:1 simple syrup
stir over ice, strain
garnish with orange peel

I'll often also make a 2:1 Manhattan with either rye or bourbon, Carpano, and .25 oz Fernet with or without 2 dashes Angostura...so many possibilities.

#42 brinza

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:45 AM

I'm fond of a Manhattan variation I came up with last year.

Eastchester
2 oz. Rittenhouse Rye 100 proof
3/4 oz. Ramazzotti Amaro
2 squirts Dutch's Colonial Bitters
stirred over ice
garnished with flamed Orange zest

I love experimenting with subbing amari for vermouth in Manhattan variations, and Ramazzotti always works well. I've also used Amaro Montenegro and Luxardo Abano. My usual dilemma is whether to go ahead and still add the bitters. On one hand it seems redundant but OTOH, it seems like heresy to not use them.
Mike

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#43 EvergreenDan

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 07:09 AM

Oooh, Luxardo Abano in a Manhattan-formula drink. Great idea. The black pepper seems really complementary to the rye spice. I guess I could *force* myself to drink one on a hot day.
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#44 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 08:00 AM

Oooh, Luxardo Abano in a Manhattan-formula drink. Great idea. The black pepper seems really complementary to the rye spice. I guess I could *force* myself to drink one on a hot day.


I checked, your forecasted high for the day is 77F. I think you're probably in the clear...we practically still wear jackets with those temps down here :wink:
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#45 syoung68

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 04:53 PM

The other evening I found myself at a friend’s home for an early evening cocktail. The boy just recently moved into his new condo and had a very successful “Stock the Bar” housewarming. However, being the consummate bachelor, he had ZERO mixers and not a single piece of fruit in the house. Not even an unnaturally vibrant maraschino. I was fine with the latter, but really wanted a brandied cherry.

So, what was I to do? Improvise.

Noticing the opened bottle of Carpano Antica that surely needed to be used before it was past its time, AND a bottle of Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao Ancienne Methode, which I had not had up until this evening, I obviously had to do something with them.

Grabbing a bottle of Bulleit Rye, I thought, "something Manhattanish".

2oz Bulleit Rye
1oz Carpano Antica
.5oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao Ancienne Methode


Stirred with ice poured into a rocks glass a la Sazerac style – he has limited glassware.

They were delicious.

Edited by syoung68, 09 June 2012 - 04:53 PM.


#46 EvergreenDan

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 07:10 PM

Wait. He had a stock-my-bar housewarming party and he got Bulleit Rye, CAF, and Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao?

When I had one, I got a gift set of a bottle of Bailey's and two logo glasses. Your friend has some friends.
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#47 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:34 AM

A couple of recent Manhattan variations that we enjoyed.

Cotton cocktail, which is a perfect Manhattan with orange bitters and a Pernod rinse.

Posted Image

Sam Ross' Cobble Hill with rye, dry vermouth, amaro Montenegro and muddled cucumber.

Posted Image

#48 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:50 AM

Here is a dry Manhattan variation (bourbon, dry vermouth and orange bitters), the Brown Cocktail, named after the University. I've been doing so many sweet Manahattan variations lately, sometimes it's good to change things a bit! For the orange bitters I like to do one dash each of Regan's and Angostura.

Posted Image

#49 KatieLoeb

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:48 PM

I just did a cocktail called the FitzRoy for Eater Philly's Cocktail Week. FitzRoy is the surname that's been given to illegitimate children of the king since the 12th century and Henry I. He apparently had quite a few. Since it's a bastard child of a Manhattan, the name seemed fitting.

FitzRoy

1.5 oz. El Dorado 5 Rum
.75 oz. Elijah Craig 12 yr. bourbon
.75 oz. Punt e Mes
2-3 dashes orange bitters
Garnish: Orange twist (flamed or not as you prefer)

Stirred, strained into a chilled coupe. Garnished.

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#50 Chris Amirault

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:10 PM

I'll try that drink soon, but, in the meanwhile: that's one killer name, Loeb. ;)
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#51 campus five

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:02 PM

Among tonight's repeal day libations, perhaps the best Manhattan specification I've ever had:

Posted Image

2:1 Van Winkle Rye / Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
2 dashes Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters
Lemon Peel
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#52 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:32 AM

I just did a cocktail called the FitzRoy for Eater Philly's Cocktail Week. FitzRoy is the surname that's been given to illegitimate children of the king since the 12th century and Henry I. He apparently had quite a few. Since it's a bastard child of a Manhattan, the name seemed fitting.

FitzRoy

1.5 oz. El Dorado 5 Rum
.75 oz. Elijah Craig 12 yr. bourbon
.75 oz. Punt e Mes
2-3 dashes orange bitters
Garnish: Orange twist (flamed or not as you prefer)

Stirred, strained into a chilled coupe. Garnished.

Your cocktail, Katie, looks really good, but note that is another cocktail named the Fitzroy, created by Sam Ross (and mentioned by Toby Maloney here, together with other Manhattan variations that use a Laphroaig rinse). (Fitzroy happens to be the name of the neighborhood in Melbourne where Sam Ross' first bar the Ginger was located). I had it a week or two ago. It's (blended) scotch (I use the low-end Glenfiddich which does not have much personnality), sweet vermouth, angostura, and Laphroiag rinse. A smoky Manhattan variation.
Here it is.

Posted Image

Edited by FrogPrincesse, 06 December 2012 - 11:53 AM.


#53 EvergreenDan

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:40 PM

It's (blended) scotch... A smoky Manhattan variation.

Sam's Fitzroy is a Rob Roy with a Islay rinse -- the Gibson of the Manhattan family, I'd say. :raz:
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#54 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:00 PM

It's (blended) scotch... A smoky Manhattan variation.

Sam's Fitzroy is a Rob Roy with a Islay rinse -- the Gibson of the Manhattan family, I'd say. :raz:

You are right, but the Islay rinse makes quite an impact. I've never been a fan of the Rob Roy and liked this variation much better.

#55 KatieLoeb

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:09 PM

Thanks Chris. I'd been keeping that one in my back pocket for a while. Since it's a different base spirit (different mother) and a little bitter (as any bastard child might be) the named seemed particularly apt. Sometimes the name comes and then you reverse engineer the drink later... :smile:

I tried to look up FitzRoy cocktail to see if anyone had used the name before and didn't find the Sam Ross drink. I did find the neighborhood in Melbourne, but figured few would know that connection. I doubt anyone will confuse me with Sam Ross!

Edited by KatieLoeb, 08 December 2012 - 01:14 PM.

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#56 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:58 PM

A friend gave me a bottle of Luxardo Sangue Morlacco cherry liqueur (disclosure- she works for Anchor Distilling which imports Luxardo in the US), one of the things that were missing in my ever-expanding liquor cabinet. The first cocktail I knew I wanted to try was Remember the Maine, a wonderful Manhattan variation. 1/4 oz of the sweet vermouth in the Manhattan is replaced with cherry liqueur, and the glass is rinsed with absinthe (I used a little spray bottle).

It was better than a version I had made a while back with maraschino liqueur (I realize now that maraschino and cherry liqueur don't have much in common even though they are both based on Marasca cherries!). The cherry liqueur adds fruit and sweetness to the drink that the absinthe balances very well with just enough spice.

Posted Image

#57 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:55 PM

Here is the Dobbs Cocktail, a Manhattan with a heavy rinse of Fernet-Branca. Very nice if you are looking for a bittersweet alternative to a Manhattan.

Posted Image

Edited by FrogPrincesse, 17 December 2012 - 01:03 PM.


#58 turkoftheplains

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:38 AM

Not sure if this is sufficiently original to merit a name, but I'm getting attached to my name (even if I'm applying it to somebody else's Manhattan variant.)

Birch and Band-Aids
3 oz. Rittenhouse Rye
1/2 oz. Vya sweet
1/2 oz. Averna
2 dashes Regan's orange + 2 dashes Ango
Lagavulin rinse, orange peel garnish

I really like the mix of aromatics from the Averna, the Scotch, and the orange.

I had the Blue Ridge Manhattan at Violet Hour about 4 years ago (still one of my very favorite cocktails from there), and I'm sure that was the inspiration for the Islay rinse. The "band-aids" descriptor is courtesy of Nandini from TVH, who applied it to Laphroaig and somehow managed to make it sound like a good thing.

#59 EvergreenDan

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:24 AM

I poured a small sample of Lagavulin for a friend, honestly thinking that he would love it. With wrinkled nose, he exclaimed, "Band-aids!" and dumped the rest out. I peed myself a little.
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#60 huiray

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:21 PM

At least two fat plump cherries.

------

MOST hated versions: Shaken Manhattans.