It’s Manhattan Monday and this week we’re featuring a concoction straight from the back of one of the main ingredients, Byrrh. If you’re unfamiliar with the French apéritif, Byrrh is a rather old aromatised wine that doesn’t quite make the definition of “vermouth” but can be swapped out in almost any cocktail that calls for a sweet vermouth. Byrrh leans more to the sweet side, rather than some of the spicier vermouths, and the bitterness of the quinine it’s infused with makes itself present on the finish. Here’s the recipe:
- 1.5 oz Bourbon or Rye [Bulleit]
- 1.5 oz Byrrh
- 6 Dashes of Bitters [Angostura Orange]
Stir with ice for 15 seconds and strain into a cocktail glass. I flamed an orange peel over the top for some added essence. The resulting cocktail is noticeably less spicy than most Manhattan’s up front, rye or bourbon. Generally I am not a 1:1 fan of Manhattan’s but this works surprisingly well and doesn’t come off overly sweet. The bitterness of the Byrrh is accentuated on the finish by the House of Angostura orange bitters and throughout you can still taste the Bulleit bourbon.
This is a great Manhattan recipe for those who still feel like a classic one comes off too strong, even at 1:1 on bourbon and Byrrh its extremely approachable and smooth… Maybe even dangerously so. I could easily see someone knocking back several of these before they knew what hit them.
If you love Manhattan’s don’t be afraid to branch out into apéritif’s, aromatised or fortified wines and see what you can come up with. There’s a wide world of whiskey and once you begin to play with the other ingredients, the horizon is truly unlimited.