Modern Guide to the Whiskey Classic
by Albert Schmid
University Press of
trends are constantly changing and most drinks are popular for a brief
period of time. The Manhattan is a classic exception, with
over 150 years of history.
"The Manhattan cocktail honors the oldest and most densely populated
borough of New York City and the club that takes its name: the
Manhattan Club. The Manhattan is now requested at bars all over the
world and it, along with the Martini, is one of the best-selling
cocktails," writes Albert Schmid in his guide to the popular drink.
According to Schmid, there are three prominent legends about the origin
of the cocktail. One suggests that bartenders at the Manhattan Club
concocted it in 1874 to celebrate the election of New York Governor
Samuel Jones Tilden.
version has the
president of the Manhattan
Club asking a bartender to create a drink to replace the Martini his
doctor has told him to give up. The third has a New York bartender
named "Black" inventing the cocktail and naming it after the island.
Whatever its origins, the desceptively simple mixture of whiskey,
vermouth and bitters stirred with ice has made a lasting impression on
at least four generations of Americans and countless visitors.
How to Prepare a
Schmid's book toasts the
history of the drink and tops it off with
practical advice, preparation tips and a collection of recipes to
versions ranging from the historic Speakeasy and Monkey Bar, the dry
Julep and St. Moritz, the perfect Ben Reed's and White Manhattans, and
the modern jello shot and Big Apple cocktails.
to Prepare a Manhattan
should be prepared by stirring. Shaking the combination of ingredients
produces a drink that is cloudy and foams across the top. Stirring
preserves a transparent drink and allows the consumer visual as well as
The preference for stirring is based on the
size of the ice used and the dilution desired: the larger the ice, the
slower the dilution; the smaller the ice, the faster the dilution.
Ultimately, drinkers need to know how much dilution they want in their
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