Barrel-Aged Manhattan

By Jonathan Laurel March 3, 2018 Cocktails

black cherry, vanilla, clove, tobacco
Kentucky rye whiskey, cocchi di torino, maraschino, absinthe, monk bitters

Verily, there are variform versions of the iconic Manhattan cocktail, and many claiming to do it right. Among that body, we wanted only to make a gorgeous, authentic Manhattan that would not easily be forgot, and we batch one that is, admittedly, a tour-de-force. Based “The only William,” William Smidt’s recipe found in The Flowing Bowl: What and When to Drink (1892), our Manhattan marries a classic sweet vermouth with one-hundred proof rye whiskey, then ages it a minimum of six weeks in an oil barrel seasoned with Madeira wine. This aging process lends the cocktail rich flavors of dry toasted wood, baking spices, and cherries, while a dash of absinthe draws out a surprisingly fascinating character that clearly illuminates the difference between an authentic Manhattan and the average borough.