You know how every once in a while a cocktail just comes out right the first time. And this was one I wasn't really looking for. I had a standard Manhattan recipe, but we've always got an open bottle of Johnny Drum, so I wanted to see how it matched with the vermouth I had open - Cocchi's Vermouth Di Torino. To match with bitters, I stood in front of the bitters box in the bourbon cabinet and alternatively nosed the Johnny Drum and the bitters until I found two that matched. And Oh, My God.
This Manhattan is perfect for me. It's got a great balanced of sweet from the vermouth and bourbon nose and taste. The bitters heighten all the baking spices I get from the bourbon. It's so good members of my family who never drink Manhattans will ask for this one any time they visit.
I'll add the batch instructions at the end. In case you've got a Manhattan lover who needs a gift.
The Contessa's Manhattan
2 oz Johnny Drum
1 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
5 drops Woodford's Sorghum and Sassafras bitters
3 drops Old Forester's Bohemian bitters
Garnish: orange peel and/or cherry
Add the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir until well-chilled and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an expressed orange peel and/or cherry.
The Contessa's BATCHED Manhattan
2 cups Johnny Drum
1 cup Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
35 drops Woodford's Sorghum and Sassafras bitters
20 drops Old Forester's Bohemian bitters
1/2 cup water
Pour ingredients into a 30 oz container, stir and place in the fridge until well-chilled. I keep a bottle in the fridge for those last minute visitors needing a cocktail. Mix for a house-warming or hostess gift for those bourbon-lovers in your house. This makes 8 cocktails.
PSA: Keep your Vermouth in the fridge at all times!
While I'm largely a whiskey girl, I do love a good Negroni, so I looked up what I had on hand I could build into a solid Negroni and came up with this. I'm currently in love with Nolet gin with it's rose notes. I didn't want the Campari to overwhelm the Nolet since I find it's a little delicate for a gin, I didn't use a straight 1:1:1 ratio.
1 oz Nolet
3/4 oz Campari
1/4 oz Solerno Blood Orange liqueur
1 oz Vermouth di Torino
Expressed orange peel
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and ice. Strain into a chilled rocks glass with a large cube of ice. Express an orange peel over the top and rub the rim. Sip and savor slowly.
Heather Wibbels is a cocktail enthusiast who spends her time thinking about cocktails, researching cocktails and making cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.