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.

Dandy Cocktail

Dandy Cocktail

Dandy Cocktail

1/2 Rye or Canadian Club Whisky. (1 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye Whiskey)
1/2 Dubonnet. (1 oz Vergano Americano)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
3 Dashes Cointreau. (1 tsp. Cointreau)
1 Piece Lemon Peel.
1 Piece Orange Peel.

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass.

First, I find Dubonnet, at least as we have it here, made in the good old USA, to be a pretty boring ingredient. I’ve heard rumors that the stuff they have in France and other countries is superior, but I haven’t ever had it in France to know.

Anyway, since I’m out of Dubonnet Rouge and don’t have any Lillet Rouge, I thought I’d sub in the Vergano Americano. Not traditional, I suppose.

I interpreted the rest of the instructions literally, cutting two wide swaths of peel, squeezing them into the ingredients in the mixing tin and dropping them in. Then stirring them with everything else.

The use of peels as an ingredient makes me think of 19th century drinks like Cobblers, though the use of Cointreau and Dubonnet, seems to place the cocktail more squarely in the 20th Century. Perhaps a 20th Century adaptation of a 19th Century recipe?

One interesting note I found in the 1900 edition of “Cocktail Bill Boothby’s American Bartender”:

Some of my recipes for the manufacture of cocktails order the dispenser to twist a piece of lemon peel into the glass in which the drink is to be served; but in some establishments this is forbidden, the bartender being ordered to twist and drop the peel into the mixing glass and strain the peel with the ice when putting the drink into the serving glass. This is merely a matter of form, however, as the flavor is the same in both cases.

So, I guess, this recipe came from one of those establishments!

Anyway, this re-imagined Dandy is pretty fantastic. I’ve made it before with Dubonnet Rouge and thought it kind of “meh”. A slightly tweaked Manhattan. With the Americano, it ends up more similar to a Creole Cocktail, but is quite spicily distinct. With the Americano’s bitter Quinine bite giving more structure, at least to my taste, than the combination of sweet vermouth and Amer Picon in the Creole. The milder flavor of the Rittenhouse seemed more appropriate rather than the Sazerac Straight or Wild Turkey Rye, but I’m sure they would also be quite tasty.

Definitely something I’ll make again.

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.