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The Manhattan Cocktail

The Manhattan Cocktail
A Modern Guide to the Whiskey Classic
by Albert Schmid

University Press of Kentucky, 2015

Cocktail 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. 
The Manhattan Cocktail

How to Prepare a Manhattan

Another 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.

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.

Peachee is co-founder of the Kentucky Women’s Photography Network.




Manhattan Cocktail by Susan Osborne
 
How to Prepare a Manhattan

The 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 gastronomic pleasure...

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 Manhattan.




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