thirsty thursday: the classic manhattan

We’re shaking things up a bit here in my little corner of the internet…..and yes, I do mean that literally.

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As you all have probably figured by this point, the hubs and I have a certain love for the liquid libations.** And we’re not talking your run of the mill, standard mixed drink – think more along the lines of handcrafted cocktails, painstakingly made and slowly enjoyed. There’s something so refined about slowly sipping a smooth cocktail. We’re all adults here, so why not celebrate it?

I intend to do just that with you, my dears. Each Thursday, when we’re all itching for 5pm on Friday to show up, let’s talk cocktails! My passion (obviously) is the cooking and baking world, but my dear sweet husband thrives when it comes to mixology. In fact, for our first wedding anniversary…you know, when the traditional gift is paper?…I knew immediately that I would be getting him cocktail books. A bit of history, and a bit of good tastes, he loves to thumb through those books, searching for the perfect cocktail to craft. Depending on our moods, it can be anything from light and refreshing to something that packs a bit of a punch. So let’s get started, shall we?

The first cocktail we decided to share with you is the classic Manhattan. One popular story (though considered highly unlikely) suggests that the drink was invented at the Manhattan Club in NYC in the early 1870s. Dr. Iain Marshall hosted a banquet in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. There are also recipes dating back to as early as the 1860s, where it was crafted by a bartender named Black at a Broadway bar. I’ll let you decide which one you like best…

I will be honest in telling you that it has taken me quite some time to warm up to whisky. I’ll be even more honest and tell you that one of the reasons I am starting to develop a liking towards it is because of my husband’s appreciation for it. I’ve been using it more and more in cooking, and while I am not at the point of sipping it straight, I can most certainly enjoy a small (read: SMALL) sip or two on the rocks.

This is a drink you’ll want to sip slowly, and really enjoy each one. It truly warms you from the inside, and the addition of the cherry makes for a sweet note. So raise your (cocktail!) glass, and let’s toast to new traditions here on Kitchen Konfidential! Cheers!

**in fact, the guest book at our wedding was the book What To Drink With What You Eat. I kid you not….talk about a match made in food & drink heaven. 


Classic Manhattan {recipe from The Craft of the Cocktail}

{serves 1}

2 ounces blended or straight whisky

1 ounce Italian sweet vermouth

2 dashes Agnostura bitters

cherry, for garnish (we went a little out of the box and used an Ole Smoky Moonshine-soaked cherry)

To make:

Pour all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and stir as you would a Martini. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry.

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Variation: if you prefer a dry Manhattan, use dry vermouth and garnish with a lemon peel. A Manhattan made with brandy is called a ‘Harvard’, and with applejack it is called a ‘Star Cocktail’. 

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