Anejo MANhattan

The Anejo Manhattan (or, as Robert Hess in his The Essential Bartender’s Guide specifies, MANhattan) was found some time ago at Jay Hapburn’s Oh! Gosh! Blog. As far I could remember I was looking for some interesting concoctions to mix with my new Licor 43. The recipe sounded pretty interesting but I had not mixed it because I had not been in the right mood, you know. But now, when my Manhattan madness is drawing to its close, the recipe is to the purpose.

The Anejo MANhattan Cocktail is a modern cocktail. It was created by a well-known American mixologist Ryan Magarian (Liquid Relations) for Sofitel Hotel Bars. The Anejo MANhattan is a Manhattan with anejo tequila instead of whiskey. Another zest of the cocktail lies in using Cuarenta Y Tres – an interesting Mediterranean liqueur aromatized with vanilla, citrus fruits and local aromatic plants. And the cocktail is an extremely rare chance of using that creation by famous Diego Zamora.

But the Anejo Manhattan has yet another peculiar feature. Originally it was meant to be garnished with a piece of mole salami. Mole salami is quite a scarce sort of cured sausage uniquely spiced with… chocolate (-sic!), cinnamon, ancho and chipotle peppers, produced by Salumi Cured Meats in Seattle. Sounds quite bizarre! Actually such eccentric garnish is a sort of pairing – a modern trend of combining food and cocktails. Unfortunately, mole salami is absolutely out of range in Ukraine so I garnish my cocktail with a traditional cocktail cherry.

Anejo MANhattan

60 ml anejo tequila
15 ml sweet vermouth
8 ml Licor 43
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir well all ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandy or tequila soaked cherry wrapped up a piece of mole salami or, well, use only a cherry.

Ryan suggests using of quality anejo tequila 100% de agave such El Tesoro or Herradura for this cocktail. I have neither of the two so I use CORRALEJO Anejo.

Well, actually, the Anejo Manhattan is a great cocktail. Aged tequila and sweet vermouth create an outstanding composition which results in quite a well-balanced cocktail. All the ingredients work extremely well together. The liqueur increases vanilla notes of aged tequila and also fruit agave notes. The palate has two main groups of flavor – warm spicy notes of ageing like vanilla, oak and cooked agave and yet a bouquet of sweet fruit, mainly citruses like orange and lemon, notes. Quite interesting, even without salami!

P.S. Regardless of the name, my wife likes the Anejo MANhattan so much. Admittedly it is the only Manhattan which wins her recognition ;)

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Satin Manhattan

My today’s excursus is devoted to quite a novel thing – a modern and interesting cocktail – the Satin Manhattan. Yes, you are right – it is the Manhattan here over again. But there is no need to be bored as so far we have explored a mixology construction of the Manhattan and now we are going to plunge into Manhattan’s mood and atmosphere.

My feel of the Manhattan is undoubtedly something special. The Manhattan is a really worthy cocktail. It boasts a history stamped by wealth and luxury being born in an exclusive place – The Manhattan Club – haunted by high society members, politicians, judges and tycoons. The name Manhattan of a renowned borough in the heart of the Big Apple spells ”the rich and famous”. So no wonder it became a popular drink for successful, enterprising and ambitious people and, hence, the embodiment of pure urban chic. And not only, Manhattan was also a drink that was sipped on decks of luxury yachts, at brunches with Manhattan shared between notorious politicians and businessmen. Quite an implication!

As for me, the Manhattan is a cocktail for thorough relaxation. The Manhattan does not tolerate fuss or haste. Each glass of this drink possesses the inimitably posh taste and smell as its ingredients (American whiskey, vermouths and bitters) carry a whiff of Manhattan atmosphere. And it is for this fourth ingredient (the atmosphere) that I hold Manhattan so high.

Today’s Manhattan differs in composition from a regular Manhattan as Scotch is used instead of American whiskey and vanilla liqueur can substitute sweet vermouth. But do not rush to repudiate the naming till you taste it.

The story of Satin Manhattan is so clear and known. The cocktail was created by a famous bartender, the King of the Cocktails – Dale Degroff in early 2000s. I had found a recipe of the Satin Manhattan at Cocktailtimes website about four or five years ago and it was named as Satin Manhattan (but now it is named as Scotch Cooler). Now I have picked up Meukow VS Vanilla (a vanilla cognac liqueur. Actually, Coctailtimes had suggested another liqueur, if I am not mistaken, it was Navan Vanilla, but it is out of reach in Ukraine now) and I decide to try the Satin Manhattan also known as the Scotch Cooler.

Satin Manhattan (aka Scotch Cooler)

45 ml Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky
15 ml vanilla liqueur (Meukow VS Vanilla)
1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass with a lot of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

You should add the Angostura very carefully. Actually, one superfluous drop will ruin the cocktail. Angostura bitters in the Satin Manhattan is like salt in a dish – you should not overdo it. Thus use only a few little drops of bitters in the Satin Manhattan.

Definitely, the Satin Manhattan in that performing is an awesome cocktail with splendid look, stunning nose and, of course, it is extremely delicious. The color of the cocktail is quite amazing, it has deep coppery color. Next – the smell. The Satin Manhattan has a rich and magnificent scent with a lot of different notes. The main notes are vanilla bean and a fruit aroma of Speyside scotch. The nose has many luxurious notes – tobacco, an expensive cigar, cacao, leather, incense and a whiff of a burning fireplace. Brilliant nose! Admittedly it is one of the best noses I have ever had. Then – the taste. The entry is rather dry and light. The palate is surprisingly dynamic – fruit and floral notes of whisky change into deep sweet notes of vanilla bean, toffee, brown spices and candied and dried fruits. The aftertaste is long with main notes of vanilla. It is a very pleasant libation, pure delight and relaxation. Certainly, the Satin Manhattan’s taste is rather different from the original Manhattan. It is not so herbal, and it has a lot of scotch in the palate, but it is in style. I mean, the Satin Manhattan has the Manhattan’s mood. It is a luxurious, powerful and interesting cocktail. It possesses some chic. The Satin Manhattan is like a costly black tie fragrance – rich and luxurious. In this case, I think, I must not repudiate the name.

As it often happens, after tasting and describing the Satin Manhattan with a vanilla liqueur, I accidentally found an original recipe :) It turns out, Dale DeGroff originally used not vanilla liqueur, but Cuarenta Y Tres (Liquor 43) – an interesting Spanish liqueur. Well, I should try it!

Satin Manhattan (original)

45 ml Chivas Regal scotch
15 ml Liquor 43
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Actually Cuarenta Y Tres (Liquor 43) is something of vanilla liqueur. It has a rather complex composition (43 ingredients, hence the name) on base of Mediterranean spices, herbs and fruits. The main palate is citrus fruit and warm spices, mainly vanilla.

The cocktail is the epitome of scotch. Whisky prevails in the flavor and palate. Supported with Licor 43 a most famous creation of Chivas Brothers demonstrates a lot of fruit and floral flavor with a hint of honey. The ‘Original’ Satin Manhattan has the light and rather sweet entry, the smooth fruit and floral palate and pleasant finish with a hint of vanilla and a whiff of scotch smokiness. The aftertaste is so long and balanced.

It is worth noting here, I have liked the cocktail, but not enough for me to call it the Manhattan :) C’est la vie!

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Two Manhattans with Grand Marnier

Today I want to toy with one of three classic variations of the Manhattan – the Perfect Manhattan. As we know, the Manhattan Cocktail has three well-known varieties – the Sweet Manhattan (basically a Manhattan. Actually, nobody names the Manhattan as the ‘Sweet’ Manhattan), the Dry Manhattan (with dry vermouth instead of sweet one) and the Perfect Manhattan. The pivotal point of the Perfect Manhattan lies in using an equal proportion of both vermouths instead of sweet vermouth. Incidentally, the name of the Perfect Manhattan seems open for debating and your approving depends upon preferable sweetness of the Manhattan.

I have paid attention to today’s first cocktail at Cheri Loughlin’s Blog – The Intoxicologist. The concept of the Rat Pack Manhattan is to improve the Manhattan with a help of the legendary French liqueur – Grand Marnier. It sounds quite interesting. In average Ukrainian conditions we have only two or, well, three cut-and-dried vermouths for the regular mixing. Thus an idea to support my regular Cinzano with one of my favorite aged liqueurs attracted me at first sight. It had made my mouth water and I went to surf (unfortunately, Cheri’s recipe is quite inaccurate, she avoids bitters, but as we know, the Manhattan always contains bitters). The appropriate recipe was founded at the diffordsguide.

The Rat Pack Manhattan sounds not quite delicious (or, frankly speaking, absolutely inedible). But really, rats have nothing to do with the Rat Pack Manhattan. Actually the Rat Pack was a group of American movie stars originally centered on Humphrey Bogart. The Rat Pack existed since 1950-s and in different time included among the partakers a number of famous actors and singers – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. After the Bogart’s death the leader of the Rat Pack was Frank Sinatra (who was a notorious Dry Manhattan lover, by the way).

The Rat Pack Manhattan was created in 2000 by Wayne Collins at High Holborn, London, England. Forsooth all members of Rat Pack (apart from Joey Bishop) were dead by that time. Probably Wayne liked the Rat Pack and named the cocktail after it. As Simon Difford supposes, originally Wayne used different whiskies to represent each of the Rat Pack crooners. The wash of Grand Marnier was for Sammy Davis, the wild card of the bunch.

The Rat Pack Manhattan is a Perfect Manhattan with a little French twist.

The Rat Pack Manhattan

Rat Pack Manhattan

15 ml Grand Marnier (for washing)
45 ml bourbon
20 ml vermouth sweet
20 ml vermouth dry
3 dash Angostura bitters
Coat a chilled cocktail glass with the liqueur and discard. Stir whiskey, vermouths and bitters with a lot of ice. Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry.

Admittedly, I should say that it is simply the Perfect Manhattan with bourbon. The minor savor of an orange is barely noticeable. Thus it is so restrained variation of the Manhattan. Perfect. In a true English style, you know.

More recently I decided to taste another Manhattan-like cocktail with Grand Marnier liqueur – the Boulevard (pretty often called as the Boulevard Manhattan). Actually the Boulevard Cocktail is rather similar to the Perfect Manhattan with Grand Marnier instead of sweet vermouth.

I have found a recipe of the Boulevard Cocktail at the diffordsguide also. As Simon supposes the Boulevard is an old classic cocktail with an unclear origin.

The Boulevard Manhattan

Boulevard (aka Boulevard Manhattan)

50 ml bourbon
25 ml dry vermouth
10 ml Grand Marnier
1 dash orange bitters
Stir all ingredients with a lot of ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of an orange peel (discarded) and two maraschino cherries.

Crikey! The Boulevard is indeed a stunning cocktail! It’s like a harmonious jazz band of well-coordinated jazz stars. All ingredients – the whiskey, the vermouth, the liqueur and the bitters – play a perceptible role. The Boulevard Cocktail is a perfect citrus Manhattan. One of the most interesting things is an amazing play of two well-aged spirits – Grand Marnier and Makers Mark bourbon. The liqueur adds more noble notes of ageing to the bourbon. The notes of vanilla, candied fruits, especially orange, orange cake prevail in the nose and palate of the cocktail. The main palate of the cocktail is slightly dry with a lot of warm sweet savors. Undoubtedly, the Boulevard is an amazing cocktail though isn’t a Manhattan. The herbal part of the taste is so simple and too light as for the true Manhattan.

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