Happy Saturday! A well made Manhattan cocktail is probably my all time favorite alcoholic drink, although an ice cold dirty martini is a close second. Since a Manhattan is so simple ingredient wise, it is important that each of the components taste really good on their own. Honestly, I didn’t like Manhattans that much until I had a good one.
I don’t think things have to be expensive to taste good. In a lot of cases, the opposite can actually be true. I hate the idea that only expensive things are good. However in the case of vermouth, $9 grocery store vermouth just doesn’t taste good. I wish it did but it doesn’t. Since I think the vermouth is the number one thing that makes or breaks this drink, it is worth it splurge a little on vermouth if you can.
I use sweet vermouth for our Manhattans, although I have seen recipes that use 1/2 and 1/2 sweet and dry too. Our favorite sweet vermouth is Carpano Antica. You can get it at some grocery stores, or at Total Wine. It is pricey but one bottle makes sooo many drinks so when you think of what you pay for a so/so cocktail out at dinner, it really isn’t that crazy.
Good bourbon is also important here. This is more a personal preference as far as what you like or think tastes good. We visited the 4 roses distillery in Kentucky last weekend, so I used 4 roses in these this time.
The cherries are also key in this drink. Their syrup adds a little tart sweetness and eating the cherry at the end is my favorite part. We love these Luxardo cherries. They are the best! We give them to each other as gifts so we always have some around. You will not regret trying these in your cocktails. They are delicious.
- 4 oz bourbon
- 2 oz good sweet vermouth
- few dashes bitters
- 4 Luxardo cherries
- Combine the bourbon, bitters and vermouth in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled glass and place 2 cherries on a cocktail stick and place in the glass, or just put them in the bottom if you don't have the sticks.