Tuesday, August 18, 2009

His and Hers Manhattans . . . Mad Men Inspired.

I was inspired by many friends' Facebook updates running up to the Mad Men premier. It seemed that everyone was mixing . . . gimlets, old fashioneds, martinis, and more. For our TV night cocktail I singled out the Manhattan. The Manhattan has a special place in Lauren's family food culture as a drink to mark celebrations and holidays--often held at the Sons of Italy Hall in Weed, CA.

I chose to mix up the first Manhattan (for Lauren) following the Weed prescription. While the most classic Manhattan recipes call for Rye, many variations abound and the preferred liquor at the Hall was Bourbon. I mixed it 1:1 over ice with sweet vermouth and a spoonful of cherry juice and poured it over a maraschino cherry into a chilled martini glass. I even used Lauren's Nonno's classic glass shaker for the stirring.

Wanting to stay with the same basic elements, but not so sweet, I asked myself: what would Don Draper do? So I boosted the Bourbon, went lighter on the vermouth, and swapped out the cherry for bitters. I noticed that the mixing glass portion of my Boston Shaker is labeled "Manhattan" for some unknown reason . . . don't worry I stirred the booze over ice (no shaking) and then strained it into a chilled martini glass.


Weed Style
2 oz Bourbon
2 oz Sweet Vermouth
Spoonful of cherry juice
1 maraschino cherry
Pour over ice, stir, strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Draper Style
3 oz Bourbon
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Pour over ice, stir, strain into chilled cocktail glass.