Over the past couple of years, I have experimented more with making cocktails. Well, experimented may be the wrong word, because in actuality I have been following recipes in order to learn the basics of creating these libations.
As someone who enjoys cooking, I have great admiration for those who can mix up a solid drink. There is an art to making a good cocktail. The proportions of the ingredients, the type of ice that is used, even the glass that it is served in… all of these things can effect the results.
One of my favorite bars in Boston is located at the Omni Parker House Hotel (which, apparently, is where the Boston Cream Pie originated) called The Last Hurrah. I know the Mad Men-style bar has become a bit of a trend lately, but The Last Hurrah is the real deal. Everything, from the decor to the servers to their extensive cocktail list… it all screams 1950s.
And I just love this place. After work, I will bring some friends there and we can just sit and chat and enjoy a well made drink (served with a bowl of their warm nuts).
It has become a bit of a joke that every time I go to The Last Hurrah, I order the same thing. I’ll look at the menu and talk about getting a martini or a gimlet. But at the last second, I change my mind. Their version of a Manhattan is the Harvey Parker, which is Jameson Irish Whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters, and a maraschino cherry. And there is no better cocktail, particularly in the colder months, than one of those.
Traditional Manhattans call for rye whiskey, which is distilled from 51% rye grain. Other variations can include bourbon or blended whiskey. But there is a smoothness that comes from the rye whiskey that I quite enjoy.
So, to take the edge off after a long work day, make yourself one of these classic Manhattans.
serving size: one drink
2 oz rye whiskey
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes bitters
Pour whiskey, vermouth, and bitters in a cocktail shaker. Add three ice cubes. Stir (don’t shake) for 1 minute and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with cherries.