One of my favorite drinks at a very nice bar in California called Prizefighter is the Butchertown. It’s one of many variations on the Manhattan served up by modern mixology—the Manhattan has withstood a lot of tinkering since it appeared in print in 1882, but at heart it’s whiskey, vermouth, and bitters. Prizefighter eighty-sixes the vermouth and substitutes sherry (like vermouth, a fortified wine) and a bit of Cointreau. It’s both nuttier than the classic and, owing to the orange liqueur, lusher, a funny kind of balancing act you should allow yourself plenty of time to contemplate while sipping. If you want you could skip the Cointreau and use a full ounce of sweeter sherry instead of the medium-dry amontillado (try oloroso).
Prizefighter’s Butchertown Cocktail
Makes 1 drink
2 ounces high-proof rye whiskey
3/4 ounce amontillado sherry
1/4 ounce Cointreau
2 vigorous dashes orange bitters
Lemon peel, for garnish
Step 1: Place a coupe or cocktail glass in the freezer until chilled, at least 5 minutes.
Step 2: Fill a pint glass or cocktail mixer two-thirds of the way with ice. Add the rye, sherry, Cointreau, and bitters and stir vigorously with a cocktail spoon until chilled, about 30 seconds. Remove the coupe from the freezer and strain the drink into the glass. Twist the lemon peel over the drink to release the oils, then drop it in.
Gin and Tonic, Barcelona Style
Photo and styling by Chris Rochelle