We always are fans of the classics and when the folks over at Cut Spike Distillery mentioned on Twitter that they were obsessing about Manhattans and wanted another recipe to try, it prompted us to finish up our experimentation on this twist of the classic Manhattan. Invented in the 1870s at the Manhattan Club in New York, this drink is typical of the cocktails from this period that were plenty boozy and not overly sweet.
Typically made with an American whiskey and Italian vermouth with a splash of bitters the Manhattan is one of those drinks your grandfather grew up drinking. There are a couple of variations that use different alcohols as the base, one of which is the Brandy Manhattan. Typically found up in the bars of the lake country of Wisconsin and Minnesota, the Brandy Manhattan is a sweeter version that cuts out the whiskey making the drink a fruitier version of the cocktail. Mr. Nom tried one of the “North Woods” Manhattans and missed the bite of the whiskey but enjoyed the additional fruitiness the brandy brought to the drink and wondered what might happen if we combined the brandy and the whiskey into a Manhattan.
We often use our friends as guinea pigs for recipe testing and when Mr. Nom tried a Manhattan variation a few months ago that added honey brandy to the mix and got a favorable reaction from most of them, we knew we were on the right path, but it felt like it was missing something. We tried on and off again over the last few months and didn’t quite hit on the perfect combination (hard to believe, but we do have lots of misses that we don’t share with you!) A couple of months again we got to try out the Thistle and Vine Chocolate and Coffee bitters and we started to look for a drink that would work for the rich dark flavors the bitters provided. We added the chocolate coffee bitters to our brandied Manhattan and addition of the dark chocolate and coffee provided just the right amount of rich deep sweetness to make the drink come alive. Combining the sweet vermouth and brandied cherry with the awesome single malt whiskey from Cut Spike and the rich deep chocolate flavor from the bitters takes this twist on a classic cocktail and makes it a real winner!
- 1.75 oz Cut Spike Whiskey
- .75 oz Brandy
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 3 dashes Chocolate Coffee Bitters
- 2 Brandied Cherries
- Add ice into a mixing glass and add the whiskey, brandy, vermouth and chocolate bitters. Stir. Place one brandied cherry into the bottom of a coupe or martini glass. Strain into the glass and garnish with the other cherry.