How to Make a Manhattan: ‘The Legend Behind a New York Classic Cocktail’ | Behind The Bar

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(rock music) – Why do I love
making Manhattans? For me, I think it has to
do with just growing up in New York City my entire life. I have such a
connection with it. It’s a wonderful
cocktail to make, it’s extremely balanced. You’ve got the whiskey,
the sweet vermouth, the bitters, it’s like a dance. It’s a love affair. I love drinking
them. (chuckling) There’s many stories behind
the legend of the Manhattan. One of the stories is
that it was created at the Manhattan Club for
an event that was held for Winston Churchill’s mother,
Lady Randolph Churchill, for then-governor
Tilden of New York, who was actually
running for president. Apparently that’s not true. What we’ve learned since then is that Lady Randolph Churchill couldn’t possibly have
been there at that time because she was pregnant in
Europe with little Winston. There’s another story
from a bartender who was working at the
famous Hoffman House, a very, very famous hotel. Tons of celebrities of
that day would stay there, people like Wild Bill
Cody, Sarah Bernhardt. But Bill Mulhall who
was a bartender there, says that cocktail
was created by a man with the last name of Black, who lived somewhere
below Houston Street. That’s the story that
I always stick to. There’s something sort
of dark and mysterious, it’s kind of matching,
like, the city. The initial Manhattan was made
with three ounces of whiskey, either rye or bourbon, one ounce of sweet vermouth, two to three dashes
of angostura bitters, and then add some ice, give it a good stir, 30 seconds, and add a cherry, and then poor it into
a chilled coup, voila. I think the cherry
came after Prohibition. It was used as a
flavoring component. Maraschino cherry,
what they are now, they’re not red like the
cherry that we all know from like the seventies, which
was basically like a dye, but there so, and it’s
almost like molasses that it’s sitting in, and they’re dark,
sort of burgundy. It’s delicious. I think if I was to make
one that would be different I would use 1 1/2 ounces of rye, an ounce and a half of bourbon, one ounce of sweet vermouth, two to three dashes
of angostura bitters, and then you would
take the orange rind with the bitters. You’re sort of
just gonna wash it. Stir your spirit with
ice and then pour it. What would make that one
taste a little bit different, you’re gonna get the orange
playing in with the spice. It’d be a really nice sort of citrus-spice
flavor coming through. It is a great drink. I don’t know if you
can actually make it any better than it is. I think everybody
should have a Manhattan at least once in life, just to experience it. It’s as iconic as the
borough it’s named after, Manhattan, boom!

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