Manhattan is my drink of choice, and I like to see how different places prepare this beverage. Last night at Brasserie by LM, I ordered a French Manhattan.
This was a good concept. Substituting Chambord (raspberry liquor) for vermouth works. I would have gone a little lighter on the Chambord (which is sweeter than vermouth) and a little heavier on the bourbon (Maker’s, the default bourbon for most Chicagoland Manhattans), but overall I think this was a worthy “take” on a classic.
An interesting and enduring question for me is, How far can you modify the recipe for a thing before that thing becomes another thing? With a Manhattan, it seems that you need, at a minimum, bourbon or rye and bitters. That leaves room for flexibility with the third element, and at various places I’ve seen the place of vermouth taken by Luxardo (not bad) or maraschino cherry juice poured out of the jar (an abomination).
I order a Manhattan almost every time I go out to eat, so I thought it might be helpful to collect a listing of how different places prepare what is to my mind the perfect pre-dinner cocktail (combining bitter, sweet, and sometimes sour flavors).
I intend to keep adding to this list, and I hope you join in.