Every day a different drink. Not just how to make them, but a detailed review of how they actually taste, photos of the drinks, and stories along the way. Starting from the beginning, The Bartender's Black Book will be our guide, taking us

(and our livers) on a journey from which we may never recover. Cheers!

March 28, 2011

#82: Apple Manhattan

1 oz Apple Brandy or liquer (not sour)
3 oz American Whiskey
Dash of Sweet Cider or Apple Juice (optional)
Dash of Sweet Vermouth (optional)
Combine all in a mixing glass filled with ice and shake
Strain into a chilled glass

Since a classic Manhattan is basically Whiskey, or more traditionally Rye, bitters, and vermouth, this drink was slightly different, but not too bizarre. You've got to get the apple flavors in there somehow. I used apple liquer, apple juice, and just a touch of dry vermouth, since I didn't have any sweet vermouth. Really, just the tiniest bit.

Now, I like a good Manhattan as much as the next guy, but I had never even contemplated mixing one up like this and making an Apple Manhattan before. I will definitely be having one again very soon.

the apple flavors went extremely well with the whiskey. The deep flavors of the whiskey combined with the sweetness and crispness of the apple, blending together for a pleasant marriage. One of the better flavor blendings thus far.

A good Manhattan is something I look forward to, and savor when it is made correctly. Now this is too. It was smooth yet crisp, and definitely elegant. A real winner and a keeper in the notebook for a night out. There are so many good drinks to choose from when I go out, I need to have notes to remind myself what I want to order, and what bars make the best drinks. We'll see how some locals make this one next time I am out. Or maybe I will just have to stay home and make my own, which is never a bad thing.


No one seems to know the definitive story of the history of the name for the "Manhattan" as a drink. One of the urban legends about the name has an interesting but slightly nauseating twist. Seems that back in the 1860s or so, it was named for the city's sewage and water system, which ran brown at the time. Not saying this really makes any sense at all, but when you consider the look of a classic Manhattan (below), you can see how this story might have come about, even if it is probably not true. It makes you wonder how anybody survived the 19th century.

Public sanitation was not the highest order of the day. Can you imagine your tap water coming out this color? I didn't think so. I couldn't imagine it coming out any color at all, only clear. But I guess when things are that bad, you can only joke about it, and have a drink about it. Remember, the alcohol will kill the germs!

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