Cinnamon Apple Manhattan

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This week’s #midweekmanhattan is made Christmas-appropriate through the addition of cinnamon and applejack:

  1. Add 50ml rye whiskey, 25ml applejack, 15ml cinnamon vermouth and two dashes of bitters to a mixing glass with cubed ice.
  2. Stir well and strain into a chilled coupe.
  3. Garnish with a dried apple slice and cinnamon stick.

To make the cinnamon infused vermouth, add ten cinnamon sticks to a 750ml bottle of sweet vermouth and leave to infuse for 2-3 days.

To make the apple chips:

  1. Preheat your oven to 95’C.
  2. Slice an apple into thin slices and place in a 8:1 water to lemon juice solution for half an hour (to prevent browning).
  3. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Bake for 1-2 hours until golden brown.

Christmas in Manhattan #2

Photo courtesy of Addison Berry, some rights reserved.

Photo courtesy of Addison Berry, some rights reserved.

Rich and red, and imbued with all of the flavours of a good Christmas postprandial, the Christmas Manhattan #2 is this week’s festive #midweekmanhattan:

  1. Add 50ml rye whiskey, 50ml of Ruby Port, 5ml of agave syrup and three dashes of Angostura bitters to a shaker of ice.
  2. Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  3. Garnish with an amaretto cherry.

Christmas in Manhattan

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Avid readers (hello mum!) will recall that last week we started infusing the guts of a Christmas pudding in some bourbon.  One week on and the infusion was ready to be strained, filtered and decanted into a bottle:

  1. Sieve the fruit from the bourbon and press down on the fruit to express as much liquid as possible.
  2. Filter the syrupy liquid through coffee filter papers and store in a clean bottle.

This has a longer shelf life than its taste will require.  In other words you will finish it before it spoils!  My first pour with the finished bourbon was a Christmas Manhattan (I think I might have overdone it!):

  1. Combine two measures of Christmas pudding bourbon, one measure of sweet vermouth, half a measure of Christmas Mulled Cup and two dashes of Teapot bitters in a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir well for sixty seconds.
  3. Double strain into a chilled coupe.
  4. Finish with a spritz of Christmas tincture.

The Big Apple

Photo courtesy of mgarbowski, some rights reserved

This week’s #midweekmanhattan features applejack in place of the whiskey (yes I just bought a bottle, what of it?  It’s my blog…).  The Applejack Manhattan, also known as the Big Apple is an ever so simple Manhattan variant which pays tribute to the classic colonial homebrewed apple spirit.

The deep, rich, smoked taste of applejack doesn’t provide much distinction from a classic bourbon Manhattan, but some of the floral apple notes can be found, and provide a slightly fresher nose.  The taste is of dried fruit, apricots and brandy, which marries well with the herbal notes of the vermouth and ties in nicely with the orange bitters:

  1. Add a large measure of applejack, a measure of sweet vermouth and two dashes of orange bitters to a mixing glass of ice.
  2. Stir well and strain into a martini glass.
  3. Garnish with a cherry.

Elderflower Manhattan

Photo courtesy of patruby83, some rights reserved.

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?

Well, my friends.  The Manhattan has another life.  Briefly alluded to in passing (see The Affinity), the manhattan can also be enjoyed as a sharp aromatic drink, the Dry Manhattan.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Shake well and double strain into a martini glass.
  3. 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.

Breakfast in Manhattan

It’s been a while since I’ve had a #midweekmanhattan post, so I thought it required something a little special.  It therefore gives me great pleasure to introduce a new series for House of Bourbon: Breakfast Booze!

A natural progression from our existing tea-infused recipes, this series will branch out to explore other drinks which include traditional breakfast foodstuffs.  While we’re not necessarily endorsing the idea that every breakfast should include an dipsological experiment, there is something to be said to raising a Bloody Mary or a Breakfast Martini on special occasions.

The ideal cross-over post to launch a series of drinks featuring popular breakfast ingredients is therefore the Breakfast in Manhattan, a cross between a classic English breakfast Martini and a traditional Manhattan.  Perfect for anyone who enjoys an orangey punch to their whiskey cocktails.

To start your day with a breakfast-appropriate Manhattan:

  1. Stir a teaspoon of marmalade with a large measure of whiskey in a mixing glass until the marmalade has dissolved.
  2. Add a small measure of sweet vermouth and a sploosh of orange bitters.
  3. Add ice, stir well and double strain into a martini glass.
  4. Garnish with a twist of orange.

Affinity

This week’s #midweekmanhattan recipe takes two slight twists from the classic Manhattan recipe, and mixes the concept of a Rob Roy and a Perfect Manhattan to create the Affinity.

The Affinity came to prominence in the 1920s (was that the golden age of cocktails, or what?), but can trace its roots right back to a first mention in the Washington Post for 29 October 1907:

“There’s another new cocktail on Broadway. They call it the Affinity. After drinking one, surviving experimenters declare, the horizon takes on a roseate hue, the second brings Wall street to the front and center proffering to you a quantity of glistening lamb shearings; when you’ve put away the third the green grass grows up all around birds sing in the fig trees and your affinity appears. The new ambrosia contain these ingredients: One medium teaspoonful of powdered sugar, one dash of orange bitters, one jigger of Scotch whisky and a half jigger of Italian vermouth. These are shaken in cracked ice, cocktail fashion, until thoroughly blended and cooled, then strained and quickly served.”

The classic recipe I know differs slightly, doing away with the sugar (*gasp*), and balancing out the ingredients so that we are left with:

  1. Add one measure of Scotch whisky, one measure of dry vermouth, one measure of sweet vermouth and two dashes of bitters to a mixing glass of ice.
  2. Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass.

The more modern recipe includes a twist of lemon peel (which may or may not be added as a garnish).  The result is a slightly drier, softer Manhattan with hints of honey and vanilla (although these will obviously depend on the Scotch you use).

The Affinity has also been in the news recently as a front-runner of a new trend for barrel-aged and/or bottle-aged cocktails.  This trend has been espoused by hot-ticket London bar Purl, Artesian at the Langham and one of my favourite Edinburgh bars, Bramble.

The folks at Bramble Bar have been working with the clever gents at Glemorangie to come up with a 100ml serving of this old timer, dished up in a bottle inspired by the ole’ snake oil sellers of the American midwest.  The theory is that bottle-ageing allows for greater oxidation of the combinations found in the cocktail, and produces a similar effect to the ageing of wine – producing a world of new subtleties that a bar-mixed and immediately-served drink can only aspire to.

The Bramble approach has also seen the Affinity spend some time in either American oak barrels, which imbue the maturing drink with spiced vanilla notes, or French oak barrels for a harsher less sweet finish.  Of course distillers have long known that the choice of barrel can have a significant effect on the end product, and it seems fitting that the Glenmorangie in Bramble’s aged Affinity dips in and out of both bottle and barrel before finding its way into a glass.

I haven’t made it to Bramble to experience this new sensation as yet, but have already ‘laid down’ my own to-be-aged drinks, and will report back in due course.