I couldn’t help but notice that the most popular thing I’ve written is about Old Fashioneds. Turns out everyone likes a stiff drink. In my continuing quest to have a grown up alcohol selection I am aiming for the ingredients for a Negroni but a handy halfway house is another bourbon based cocktail, the deliciously prohibition era Manhattan. They’re what Marilyn Monroe mixes in a hot water bottle in Some Like it Hot, and if that isn’t an endorsement I don’t know what is.
Like the Old Fashioned, the Manhattan is bourbon or rye based and includes a dash of bitters. Instead of sugar, the sweetness in this one comes from sweet vermouth (Martini Rosso). There’s also the “Perfect Manhattan” which uses half dry and half sweet vermouth and a “Dry” which uses all dry. There’s no ice in the drink itself so you need to get your glasses cold, stick them in the freezer a few hours before you need them (if your freezer’s like mine this will require some careful organisation of peas, leftover soup and a giant chicken).
Then mix, in a ratio of 2.5:1, bourbon and Martini rosso over ice. Add one or two dashes of bitters and stir for thirty seconds to take the edge off the whisky.This is easier to do in a cocktail shaker than a hot water bottle. Strain into the chilly glasses and pop in a cherry (should be Maraschino but I have glace and I’m not entirely sure what the difference is so I am going with it).