“If you were to ask me if I’d ever had the bad luck to miss my daily cocktail, I’d have to say that I doubt it; where certain things are concerned, I plan ahead.” ~Luis Buñuel
There is nothing quite so good for mental health as a cocktail at the end of a long day. Make that ‘at the end of all days’. Period. Am I wrong? I wish I could say that I was as regimented as Buñuel in my daily booze intake, but alas, it can get expensive. Still, on a Friday night, we all deserve a little pick-me-up, and I’m in the mood for…Manhattan. Technically, my Friday isn’t until Saturday, so I’m planning ahead like Luis B up there and sourcing the ingredients tonight. (I would like to note that the famed Spanish director lived in New York for a number of years, just to highlight a further connection here.)
My yearning for this classic came from my gourmand grandfather, who is going through a Manhattan phase at the moment, and who has strict rules and regulations surrounding cocktail hour at his house.
Number One: There shall be a cocktail hour every day.
Number Two: You must ask for what you want, and nothing less.
Number Three: Drinks must be made properly and served in the appropriate glasses. (i.e. beer in steins or pints, wine in wine glasses, g&ts in rocks glasses, and most especially, Manhattans in martini glasses) If all appropriate glasses are already in use, you must pick something else.
As I said, lately he has been really interested in Manhattans, and he knows how to mix a good one. Nothing says impassioned political debate like a rye-based cocktail, so in his case, it’s a match made in Heaven. Still, I say we all need a little fiery opinion added to our personalities on occasion, so let’s take a page out of this wise, whiskey-lover’s book and get out the martini glasses. Oh, you don’t have any? Hmm.. Awkward. I guess you’ll be looking for an alternative to try. (See rules above).
2 oz. rye whiskey
1 oz. sweet vermouth
2 dashes angostura bitters
For anyone interested in the history of the libation, stories abound, but the truth has yet to be revealed. Various legends and written records definitely place the cocktail recipe in the 19th century, but beyond that, the original inventor, and the authentic name for that matter, are unproven.