Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Whiskey With An "E"


Whiskey. Whether you spell it with an "e" or not (everyone vs. Scotland and Canada, respectively), it's one of my new favorite things. In the past I've enjoyed a wee dram of Scotch every now and then, but the other whiskeys like bourbon and rye were out of my ken.

Bourbon always reminded me of the cocktails my parents drank with their friends, when my dad would load up the bar with the fine distilled products from Monarch in Hood River (his cheap booze of choice). There was always tonic and orange juice to mix in, for the ladies who didn't really like the taste and those who needed to cut the heat.

I'd toddle into their midst in my jammies, say night-night to the happy crowd and wander to bed, thinking that all those adults I knew from church sure were happier outside of it. Occasionally I'd take a sip from a lipstick-crusted drink that had been abandoned on a side table, wondering why they'd drink something that, to my young palate, tasted like turpentine smelled.

Needless to say, by the time Dave started making cocktails I'd long overcome my aversion to alcohol, and when he became enamored of Manhattans I went along, too. (What a good wife I am!) He's made them with both bourbon and rye, with sweet vermouth and its higher-rent cousin, Carpano Antica.

So when I heard from some local bartenders that the Bulleit company was putting out a small batch rye (above left) to follow on the heels of its popular bourbon, I knew I had to get me some. With a distinct taste of the rye grain, this is great stuff for drinking all by itself. But it also mixes quite nicely in other company, much like the happy Episcopalians of my youth.

Manhattan

For two drinks:
2 oz. rye whiskey
1 oz. Carpano Antica or other sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes Fee Bros. Old-Fashioned bitters
Amarena cherries

Chill cocktail glasses in freezer. Fill pint glass or small mixing pitcher half full of ice. Add whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Stir 30 seconds. Take cocktail glasses out of freezer. Strain liquor into glass. Drop in cherry. Serve.

3 comments:

trainer, crafter, kristin said...

Tequila is the liquor of choice to make me act like a happy Episcopalian. But since I was weaned on Jack Daniels, I'm sure I can belt back one of these Manhattans. Cheers, Kathleen!

KAB said...

I just remember the shouts of joy from the crowd at our house when the Surgeon General announced that wine was good for your health…

JerryC said...

When I'm feeling Papist, I'll ponder a finger or two of Irish Whiskey, ascetically embellished with a single ice cube. And because I'm a Connecticut Yankee, I'll always substitute dry vermouth for a Manhattoe's sweet and toast Martin Luther and John Calvin with the more reformed "Presbyterian."