It's Monday, which means it's Manhattan night (it's a rule.) However, I'm at home tonight so I thought I'd try something a little different. I broke out the bottle of Arkansas Black Applejack I got at the Craft Spirits a couple of months back to make what I'm calling the Big Apple. This is a Manhattan-variation which swaps out the whiskey for applejack, but otherwise keeps the 2-1-2 proportions of the Manhattan. I went with Carpano Antica for the sweet vermouth, because I thought the cinnamon would go well in it, and I used the Napa Valley Apple Spice bitters. The result is pretty good, but not outstanding. It's a bit too apple (the applejack is a little hot at 98 proof) and could maybe use a more robust vermouth. I think I might try Punt e Mes next time and a different bitters, just to see how it goes. I'm going to enjoy this one right now though.
The Manhattan recipe is just about as simple as simple can be.
- 2 oz Applejack -- I used Arkansas Black Applejack
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth -- something a bit spicy goes well here
- 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters (I used the Napa Valley Bitters Apple Spice bitters here, which aren't an aromatic bitter but are pretty lovely.)
- Put everything in a mixing glass and add ice
- Stir for about 20 seconds or until chilled (Never, never shake a Manhattan. Never!)
- Sstrain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Sip and listen to the sound of thunder in the background and wonder how you've suddenly been transported back to the East Coast.