The Manhattan: the epitome of style and elegance, reserved exclusively for black tie events and other high-class rendezvous. But would you ever expect the Manhattan to be the fisherman’s drink of choice on a tiny Frisian Island off the coast of North Germany? Probably not. Yet in Fohr, it is common to find these locals mingling in cafes, Manhattan’s in hands, served ‘perfect’ (that is, one part vermouth to two parts whisky with a dash of bitters) over ice. Originally Fohr natives had immigrated to New York and took an instant liking to the cocktail; so much so that they decided to make it a thing in their homeland. So, if you’re ever worried that knocking up a Manhattan in the afternoon might seem slightly taboo, rest assured chances there’s a German Fisherman in Fohr who has exactly the same idea as you. The popular story behind the birth of the Manhattan dates back to the early 1870s: Dr. Iain Marshall prepares a drink for Lady Randolph Churchill (Winston’s mother) for a party she is hosting at the Manhattan
Club. It is an instant success and so is the cocktail, its popularity ensuing. The validity of this story is controversial, but it remains a widely cited legend with few other alternatives. The purists will tell you that there is only one way to truly enjoy a Manhattan, and that’s with rye whiskey just as the good Dr. Marshall did it. Over time the Manhattan has become a flexible drink that has incorporated bourbon, dry vermouth, brandy, dark rum and Anejo Tequila. The Manhattan has maintained its simple yet elegant design for well over 100 years. While cocktails are always popular during those warm summer days, having a Manhattan over ice in dreaded winter may seem undesirable. Luckily the Manhattan has a warming effect and can be enjoyed on frosty nights without leaving your teeth chattering. There’s no reason to doubt why they call this drink the “King of Cocktails”.
MAKES 1 DRINK
12.5ml Rosso/rouge (sweet) vermouth
12.5ml Dry vermouth
2 Dashes Bitters
METHOD: Stir the whiskey, vermouth, and bitters well over ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
GARNISH: Cocktail cherry