Manhattan Cocktail (No. 1)

Manhattan Cocktail (No. 1)

Use small Bar glass.
2 Dashes Curacao or Maraschino.
1 Pony Rye Whisky.
1 Wineglass Vermouth (Mixed).
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters.
2 Small Lumps of ice.

Shake up well, and strain into a claret glass. Put a quarter of a slice of lemon In the glass and serve. If preferred very sweet add two dashes of gum syrup.

The Savoy Manhattan Cocktail (No. 1) is pretty much verbatim from the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas’ Bar-tender’s Guide:

Manhattan Cocktail.
(Use small bar-glass.)
Take 2 dashes of Curacoa or Maraschino.
1 pony of rye whiskey.
1 wine-glass of vermouth.
3 dashes of Boker’s bitters.
2 small lumps of ice.

Shake up well, and strain into a claret glass. Put a quarter of a slice of lemon in the glass and serve. If the customer prefers it very sweet use also two dashes of gum syrup.

The only real differences being the directive to use “1 Wineglass Vermouth (Mixed)”, which I can only assume to mean a mixture of Dry and Sweet Vermouth and Angostura vs. Boker’s.

I was trying to think of way to make this a little more than, as David Wondrich describes it, “a vermouth cocktail with a stick.” The first thing that occurred to me was to use a cask strength whiskey. I contemplated the Handy, and then decided to go with the…

George T. Stagg

Yeah, well, sorry about that. On the bright side, the new Buffalo Trace Antique Collection should be available again soon. And, well, speaking of things that it is unlikely that many other people have…

Bitter Truth Boker's Bitters

Yeah, the bitter truth guys made a stab at a Boker’s replica a while ago. It’s a nice old-school bitters with a strong cardamom element.

At this point, I’m thinking, heck if I’m going to use 2 obscure ingredients, I might as well use 3…

Bols Dry Orange Curacao

So, the cocktail is:

1 teaspoon Bols Dry Orange Curacao
1 oz George T. Stagg Whiskey
1 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth
1 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1 tsp. Bitter Truth Boker’s Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Lemon Peel.

Manhattan Cocktail

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this cocktail. I have to admit I’ve never gone this far into whiskey debt when making a Manhattan, nor have I ever had the courage to add that much bitters.

To be honest, it doesn’t really taste like what I think of when I imagine a Manhattan. But it is, actually, a very nice cocktail. Very complex with only a little hint of the brawn of the whiskey towards the end of the cocktail when it warms up.

Very drinkable.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

8 thoughts on “Manhattan Cocktail (No. 1)

  1. I would say my standard is the Manhattan (No. 2) coming up tomorrow. 2-1 Whiskey to Vermouth Ratio with bitters. Or sometimes 3-1.
    Unfortunately no rye, bitters, or vermouth currently in the Kalmanovitz Library Building. I should rectify that problem.

  2. Did you not want to try the optional gomme (“gum”) syrup addition? I didn’t see this in the final recipe. Maybe it would have gotten lost or…maybe not. I just made some and started using it. I’m finding it quite a pleasant addition.

  3. Well, the option is given as, “If the customer prefers it very sweet use also two dashes of gum syrup.”

    I’m not usually the sort of person who prefers drinks very sweet, so I did not. I also have no Gum Syrup at the moment. Well, I do have some mesquite gum syrup, but am not sure if that counts.

  4. I agree: don’t care for very sweet drinks but I’m definitely interested in seeing how gomme changes the mouthfeel of various cocktails so that note stood out.

    Mesquite gum sounds interesting, or perhaps its just too intense to be practical?

  5. Mesquite Gum is mostly too unavailable to be practical. Unless you’ve got a stressed Mesquite tree or 12 in your backyard to harvest from.

    PS. I have a crazy idea to start a series of informative cocktail sessions at the UCSF Library. I should write a grant proposal. ;-)

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