Monday, October 1, 2007

To answer your question, Sunni...

Yes, it's good... in that way only bourbon can be. As you said, nectar o' the gods.

As good as Maker's? Hmm... Is moonlight as good as sunshine? Is air as good as water? Is a meadow as good as a sandy beach? :P

It's as good as Maker's, at least. It's hard to say exactly (I bought the Knob Creek 'cause I was out of Maker's, so I couldn't do a side by side tasting... I should've), but the KC seemed spicier than the MM (I think they use a regular rye based grain bill, rather than being wheated like Maker's). Still very smooth, though... absolutely drinkable neat. But I love the spiciness... especially in this week's drink (Which is was actually cool enough last night to have one of.).

Speaking of, btw, this week's drink is... The Manhattan! (And if any cocktail geeks are reading this, I just know they're screaming at their monitors: "But the Manhattan's made with RYE, you blaspheming idiot, not bourbon!") (I'm working on getting some rye to expand my booze horizons, but it's hard to stock up a bar when you live in the sticks... I'm a small town guy through and through, but I need better liquor and beer selections. Ah, well... At least I don't have to deal with liquor board nazis like some.)

Anywho...

The Manhattan
2 oz. whiskey
1 oz. sweet vermouth (vermouth is our friend)
1-3 (dozen :-) dashes bitters

Stir well with ice. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with a Maraschino cherry (No, no, not that kind... put the fluorescent fruit away.) or lemon peel (Jac's personal favorite).

Enjoy spiced nirvana...

Editor's note: Never order a Manhattan at Applebee's. I know, I know... I should've known better, but the waiter came up when I was on the phone and I just said the first thing that came to mind; I nearly slapped myself the moment the words "Manhattan with a twist" left my lips, though. And when he brought my dad's drink and said "They're working on that Manhattan... she's never made one before" I almost reached for my butter knife (I don't know if I'd've used it on him or me, though.). Lessons learned:

A. Vermouth is NOT the modern bartender's friend... I saw the big green M&R bottle come out from under the bar, but I think she was teasing me. There was a whisp, MAYBE.

2. Bitters? What're those? Not a hint of 'em. I don't expect bartenders to psychically discern my preference for a heavy dose of bitters, but is it unreasonable to expect at least a token amount as, y'know, maybe a tribute to the drink's RECIPE?

And finally, the "cherry". The less said about finding Rudolph's nose in your drink, the better. I don't know why they never hear me (second time, by the way... at least the guy at the hotel that one time used vermouth) when I say "with a twist"... maybe I need to speak up. But he heard "Manhattan", right? It can't be all my fault..?

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5 Comments:

Blogger Kirsten said...

What exactly are bitters?

October 2, 2007 5:40 PM  
Anonymous sunni said...

IIRC Canadian whiskies tend to lean more heavily to rye; I have a bottle of Crown Royal that I am told is of that nature. It's spicier (although that's an unusual word for it, I can't think of a better one) than bourbon.

Do you think KC would be better in mint julep truffles?

October 3, 2007 9:01 AM  
Anonymous sunni said...

I forgot to comment that a lot of hooch is available online ... that might be the fastest (but not cheapest, alas) way to get your bar stocked. Here are a few places that look promising: http://www.liquorama.net/, http://www.67wine.com/, and http://www.wine-searcher.com/. Even those those last two seem to focus on wine, they do offer lots of other stuff, including liquors and other spirits.

October 3, 2007 9:20 AM  
Blogger Jacques said...

Kirsten,
Cocktail bitters are basically a blend of spices in alcohol, originally sold as health tonics (a bitters and soda is actually quite nice for an upset stomach). Back in the 18th century, some genius discovered that adding them to a sling (spirits, sugar and water) did wonderful things to the drink (they're sort of like hops in beer... they help blend flavors together, and have great aromatic and flavor qualities of their own). The "bittered sling" became the cocktail, and the rest is history.

They've lost popularity in the US for whatever reason, but the cocktail geek movement is full of bitters fiends, so there's been some resurrection.

October 3, 2007 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but it's hard to stock up a bar when you live in the sticks..."

Now that is some class a humor there. You've seen "the sticks" up here, you aint in the sticks, boy.

Unless you are referring to the "trees" that I'd agree with.

p

October 5, 2007 6:13 PM  

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