Sometimes, you get to the point where you’re so overthinking and stressing about everything that you need just a moment’s escape from your own mind.
That’s when I grab a Manhattan.
Last year, when I attended my cousin’s wedding, I tried ordering an Old Fashioned. I’m a dork in that I like to use open bars as opportunities to sample cocktails I haven’t before. Low risk, you know? Except I found, for the second time, that bartenders apparently can’t figure out how to make Old Fashioneds at weddings. The first attempt ended in something not at all like an Old Fashioned–some weird Frankencocktail creation. At this wedding, I was told they weren’t prepared to make them. How absurd!
I was offered, instead, a Manhattan. So I accepted it.
I sat back down at the table with my parents, ready to enjoy the remainder of cocktail hour before the reception commenced. A sip. A shudder. Wow. My dad asked what was in the glass and his response has stayed with me to this day: That’s what you drink when you’re serious about drinking. Everybody laughed, but he had a point.
Manhattans are not the kind of drink you guzzle.
Unlike mojitos, margaritas, and daiquiris, they’re meant to be sipped slowly. Experienced wholly. Savored. This isn’t college happy hour material. Which makes them a bit pretentious, in my book, but I’ve learned, in the year since, to truly appreciate them, too. I guess I’m finally an adult.
- 2 ounces rye whiskey, like Bulleit Rye Frontier Whiskey
- 1 ounce red vermouth, like Dolin
- 2-4 dashes Angostura bitters
- ½-3/4 teaspoon Luxardo maraschino cherries syrup
- 2 Luxardo maraschino cherries
- Place a large ice cube or ball in a rocks glass.
- In another glass, pour the rye, vermouth, bitters, and cherry juice over crushed ice; stir, then strain into the prepared glass.
- Add 2 cherries, sip, and enjoy!