Manhattan – the Story of a Legend

You drink it when you go out. You prepare it in the privacy of your own home. It’s delicious, elegant and it reminds you of the roaring 20s when opulence was  the keyword. But do you know the story behind this cocktail? If not, don’t be afraid; you’re not the only one!

Manhattan
Photo source: pinterest.com

There is a very popular legend which indicates that the drink comes from the Manhattan Club located in New York. The action of our story takes place around the 1870s and its main protagonist was Dr. Iain Marshall. The legend says that at a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Winston Churchill’s mother) this drink became very popular. Afterwards people asked for the drink referring to the name of the club where they first drank it (Manhattan).

The original recipe included American whiskey, Italian vermouth and Angostura bitters. However during the Prohibition, bartenders used Canadian whiskey because it was easier to find. This story is quite interesting but not as true. Apparently, Lady Jerome was in France at the moment of the ‘inception’ and she was also a bit pregnant at the time, making it quite hard to try out cocktail recipes. Hard, but not impossible!

Another version of the birth of the Manhattan cocktail is that it was invented in the late 1860s by a bartender named Black at a bar that was located on Broadway. A story not as glamorous but probably more plausible than the former one.

Manhattan-cocktail

Well, we’ve heard a lot of stories, but how about we see the recipe to get an idea of how we are going to spend the night?

Manhattan's Cocktail Ingredients:

1¾ oz sweet vermouth
22 ½ oz bourbon wiskey
31 dash Angostura bitters
41 maraschino cherry
51 twist orange peel

How to prepare it?

Start by combining the vermouth, the bourbon whiskey and bitters with 3 ice cubes in a mixing glass. Stir everything gently and separately, place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass. Pour the whiskey mixture over the cherry.

Use the orange peel to rub the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink without dropping it in. This will release oils, making the cocktail even more delicious.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we all know what we’re doing tonight!

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