The quintessential winter cocktail – at least for me - has always been the Manhattan. It instantly warms from the inside out, spreading its cozy embrace outward from the tummy. It carries just enough sweetness to go down easily, but the burn is ample to appease the most numb and jaded. Traditionalists hold that a real Manhattan is made from rye whiskey, but I have it on good authority that a Kentucky bourbon will do in a pinch (I opted for the Maker’s Mark that was on-hand.) The integral ingredient for appearance purposes has always been a bright maraschino cherry.
My friend Carl, however, advised me to try it with a Luxardo cherry from Italy, generously sending up a bottle of them. He was right, and the difference was delicious. Rich in flavor, velvety in texture – this is a cherry for the adults, and there is no more adult beverage than a Manhattan.
For purists, here is one of the unadulterated versions:
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1 ounce Italian vermouth
- 2 dashes bitters
- Cherry for garnish
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