Thursday, September 6, 2007

12) A&E Manhattan

1.5 oz. Rittenhouse 100 Rye
.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
.5 oz. Strawberry Cointreau

Sunday afternoon as I was enjoying a bit of coffee and wondering why the sun was trying to kill me with it's heat, I received a somewhat cryptic text message from Ed - "Strawberry Cointreau" was all it said. You may recall, as I did, that we recently made a Strawberry Margarita using strawberries macerated in Cointreau. Still I wasn't entirely sure what Ed meant by his message. When I arrived at the bar, he triumphantly exclaimed that he had found the container of strawberries, once thought lost to the grasping hands of the cooler. I cracked open the container and was hit by an awesome aroma of orangeberry goodness. Trying some of the long strawberry infused liquor I knew then what Ed's message meant, "We are bound by the laws of the very universe itself to use this in a cocktail".

We initially thought we would honor national bourbon appreciation month using, you know, bourbon. Ed whipped out the good ol Jim Beam and we went to work making a sort of Manhattan kind of thing. We went pretty easy on the Strawberry Cointreau wanting to make sure we didn't go overboard and added a little sweet vermouth for spice. The finished product was not bad, but not great. The Beam really didn't measure up to the Cointreau and Vermouth, so we decided to screw national bourbon appreciation month, and bring out the heavy guns - Rye.

We used Rittenhouse 100 cause we wanted something that would stand up and be front and center against the Cointreau and Vermouth. The final product was exactly what we were looking for. The Rye was most certainly the dominant flavor (as you might imagine what with Rye being the delicious, ham-fisted brother of bourbon), but the power was tamed by the Vermouth while the subtler flavors were brightened by the Cointreau. As the Rye faded hints of strawberry and orange lingered on the tongue.

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