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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