The final season of “Mad Men” has finally arrived, and what better way to celebrate than with another classic cocktail? This week, I’m sharing the recipe for a drink that’s not only delicious, but holds a special meaning for me.
See, the Manhattan was my grandfather’s drink. Though he passed away when I was very young, I treasure the few memories that I have of him: he taught me to how to fish in the pond next to my grandparents’ house, and he gave me my beloved Teddy Ruxpin doll (remember those?). A couple of Thanksgivings ago, my aunt shared with me grandpa Skip’s recipe for the perfect Manhattan, and ever since the drink has become something of a family tradition. Manhattans are traditionally served in a cocktail glass neat (that’s as-is, with no accoutrements for you bartending newbies), but I prefer the drink mixed in a shaker and poured over ice.
Grandpa Skip’s Perfect Manhattan
Maraschino cherry (optional)
Add two jiggers of whiskey to your cocktail shaker.
Next, add 1/2 jigger sweet vermouth and 1/2 jigger dry vermouth to the shaker.
If using, add some ice to your cocktail glass and pour your drink. Garnish with a cherry if you like — my aunt and I like to swirl the extra cherry juice into our Manhattans for extra color and flavor — and enjoy!
The Manhattan is a flexible drink — there are tons of different variations. For example, if you use scotch in place of the whiskey the drink becomes a Rob Roy. You can also use only dry or only sweet vermouth for a dry or traditional Manhattan, or swap out the whiskey for rum or tequila to make a Cuban or a Tijuana Manhattan.
Are you acquainted with this classic cocktail? Which variation is your favorite?