Summer is here, and with it, our thoughts turn to clean, clear, crisp and refreshing drinks that can be savoured during those long evenings, where the sunlight lingers on the lawn, and the birds stay up late gossiping in the trees. What place then for the #midweekmanhattan, a surly, autumnal, rich, spiced concoction that is surely best enjoyed from a leather armchair in front of a crackling log fire?
The Dry Manhattan owes much of its popularity to its association with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack (although more of that another time), and can be spruced up for summer drinking with the addition of some quintessential floral summer notes; primarily elderflower.
Elderflower has a long association with the British summer, and elderflower cordial, made from sugar, water and elderberry flowers, is a staple of Famous Five style traditional picnics. For those who look for a little more bite to accompany their cucumber sandwiches, however, a range of elderflower liqueurs can now be employed to bring that summer picnic twist to the Manhattan.
To make the Elderflower Manhattan:
- Add a large measure of whiskey, a measure of elderflower liqueur, half a measure of dry vermouth and two splooshes of bitters (dandelion & burdock would work well) to a shaker of ice.
- Shake well and double strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with a cherry.
P.S. I am keen to try this with green tea vermouth, but worry that the extra floral notes might begin to dominate the whiskey in an uncompromising manner.