I always find it hard to say what my favorite foods and drinks are because I love so many. But if there's one cocktail that's had a starring role over the years, it's the Manhattan. It's one of the first real drinks I ever tried and I'm sure the name had a lot to do with the attraction for this native New York girl. But I did really like it.
The smell of whiskey reminded me of the old oak paneled bars and I always asked for an extra cherry. Over the years, I've come to like the smooth taste of bourbon in my Manhattans but it remained my favorite sipping cocktail.
It might be a little sacrilegious to mess with it but I have recently started adding a touch of maraschino liqueur with great success. And, since I was already tinkering, I took it a step further with a recent batch of shrubs I made as holiday gifts.
If you like your Manhattans on the dry side, you can cut back the amount of shrub but I liked the balance with the lemon juice. And, with New Year's Eve at the end of the week, no harm will come from topping this off with a few ounces of champagne. Cheers!
Yield: 2 Servings
Bourbon Manhattan Cherry Shrub
Prep time: 15 Mininactive time: 24 HourTotal time: 24 H & 15 M
Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with a cherry shrub.
For the Cherry Shrub:
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Cup cherries
For the Cocktail:
- 4 oz. Bourbon
- 4 oz. Cherry shrub (recipe follows)
- 1 oz. Dry vermouth
- 1 oz. Lemon juice
- 2 Dashes of Angostura bitters
- To make the shrub, combine the sugar and vinegar in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well to dissolve the sugar. Add the cherries and mash them up a little, shake well again and refrigerate for at least two days. Give the jar a good shake a couple of times a day.
- When ready, strain out the cherries and keep the shrub, lid on, in the refrigerator. It should last for a couple of weeks.
- To make the cocktail, add the bourbon, cherry shrub, dry vermouth, lemon juice and bitters to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, shake well and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve neat or over ice.
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