I am self-confessed a novice when it comes to Manhattans limited to experimenting at home until I can make the perfect drink (not perfect as in 50-50 sweet/dry vermouth). My intentions is to be able to create a drink that I thoroughly enjoy making and drinking, with the possibilities to also wow guests with the perfect drink!
My tools are as follows:
1 x 600ML Japanese mixing glass with stem
1 x 12” twisted stirring spoon by the Modern Mixologist
1 x no name 15ml/30ml stainless steel jigger
1 x Yukiwa stainless steel Hawthorn Strainer
1 x 4 oz yarai glass cut tumbler from the 70s or 80s
1 x Ultimate Ears Megaboom Blue Tooth Speaker streaming ‘Airline Lounge’ music from my iphone as I mix
My Ingredients are:
2 oz Bulleit Rye Whiskey
1 oz Carpano Antica Formula
2 dashes Agostura Bitters
2 dashes Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
1 x Luxardo Maraschino Cherry on a toothpick
30 sec of right handed stirring with 5 ice cubes measuring 1.5 inches cubed
Infinite amounts of determination
My first attempt at this I found the drink still strong from the whiskey. I thought I changing the ratios between whiskey and vermouth to 1.5 oz each. Outcome:too sweet and no whiskey flavor
Next, I experimented with the amount of time spent stirring creating 4 iterations with stirring at 30 sec, 60 secs, 90 secs and 120 secs. Outcome: the last 2 i.e. 90secs and 120 secs made the whiskey flavor feel washed out.
I am hypothesizing that the key variable here influencing my satisfaction levels is either:
a. Bad technique
b. Not feeling the ambience
c. Choice of Bulleit Rye whiskey
To address a. and b. I plan next time I head to a high end bar or 2 or 3 is to order a Manhattan and note what a purported top notch Manhattan is meant to taste like.
More likely, I will think I will need to vary the whisky. I am thinking next of crossing the red line and making a few iterations from Buffalo Trace Bourbon. It may not be a Manhattan from the perspective of a purist but heck James Bond has his Martini shaken and not stirred.
Other experimentation's I plan is substituting Whisky with Don Julio 1942 Tequila only because I drank something similar with a Mezcal at a fancy South American Bar Restaurant. I have a bottle of Don Julio sitting in a cupboard and it is not going anywhere (short of the sink) anytime soon!
Whistle Pig (back to Rye) may be another option but too expensive to experiment with unless I can get a sample somewhere
My ultimate goal is to be able to say ' this tastes amazing'.
BTW Please don’t preach substitute Bulleit for Rittenhouse unless you have tried both and can tell me why.