Now that the weather has turned to winter again (at least here in Scotland) I can sneak in one of my autumnal favourites, the Maple Manhattan.
In a flush of enthusiasm I considered renaming this drink along the following lines:
- Manhattan is the most populous borough of New York.
- Most maple syrup is produced in Quebec.
- Montreal is the largest city in Quebec, so which is the most populous arrondissement of Montreal?
Unfortunately (for the sake of nomenclature) the answer is Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce – not exactly a name that rolls off the tongue, so this drink remains the Maple Manhattan.
The secret to any good cocktail is good quality ingredients. All too often I hear people arguing that it’s ok to buy cheap gin as “we’re only going to mix it”. While it may be true that cheap gin can be more easily salvaged in a drink with premium ingredients (think an Aviation or a Negroni) than it can when consumed alone, or just with tonic, with most cocktails, the finished drink can only ever be as good as what goes in. For that reason, buy the best maple syrup you can find and proceed as follows:
- Add 1 1/2 measures of whiskey (bourbon or rye) to a shaker 2/3 full of ice.
- Add 1/2 part sweet vermouth and 1/2 dry vermouth (I’m making mine ‘perfect’ feel free to experiment with different ratios of vermouth).
- Add 1/2 measure of maple syrup and two dashes of your favourite bitters (aged whiskey or orange go well).
- Shake well and double strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
Maple syrup and bourbon are a great combination, and the sweet maple blends well with the smoky bourbon to create an instant image of an autumnal bonfires of leaves. However, don’t let that dissuade you from making one of these as your #midweekmanhattan tonight.
There are some out there that claim the ultimate breakfast drink is a bacon-infused Maple Manhattan. All I can say to them is watch this space…