Although I am originally from San Diego, I have a sick love of cold weather. I love wearing sweatpants and hoodies around the apartment, I love sleeping under heavy blankets, and I love running in tights and layers with the cold air in my face. Most of all, I love cold weather adult beverages. When the temperatures start dropping, I eagerly anticipate the moment it is just cold enough to fix my favorite drink: the manhattan. The combination of bourbon (or rye), sweet vermouth, and bitters create a boozy harmony that surpasses all other mixed drink combinations.
Sometime in mid-December, temperatures here in D.C. finally dipped into the low 50s which is actually not too cold winter weather wise, but cold enough for me to mix my first manhattan of the season. For this occasion, I went with the combination of Whistle Pig Rye, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, and angostura bitters.
For the most part, I like to keep things simple and stick to a two parts bourbon/rye to one part vermouth ratio with a few dashes of bitters. To finish the drink, I dropped in a home-brandied cherry. Since I planned on savoring my first manhattan of Winter 2011-2012, I poured this one on the rocks. I was immediately in a better place.
My roommate had actually won the bottle of Whistle Pig Rye several months ago at our favorite bar. I quickly found out how much that bottle retails for at the local liquor store and could not in good faith make that bottle a permanent fixture of all my manhattan desires. The following weekend, I picked up a bottle bourbon on my way back from lunch. While I generally rotate between Knob Creek, Elmer T. Lee, or even Makers Mark for my house bourbon, I decided to switch things up this time around. I had enjoyed a bottle of Redemption Rye previously and decided to test out its sibling Temptation Bourbon.
For this manhattan I decided to serve it up in a chilled martini glass. This manhattan was much smoother due to the use of bourbon instead of rye. Overall, it was a lovely manhattan though I’m not sure if I would revisit the Temptation Bourbon this winter after I finish the bottle.
Although temperatures in the mid-50s is admittedly still too warm to properly enjoy a manhattan, it was enough for me as November is way too late for me to have my first manhattan of the season. A longer manhattan season – another reason global warming needs to be addressed.