I don’t hide my love for the bourbon Manhattan cocktail. Prepared perfectly, it is the perfect compliment to the end of the day. The dark, woody bourbon combined with a sweet vermouth and a homemade cherry just makes any evening incredible. For a long while, I’ve avoided anything but the bourbon as my foundation in this drink, finding other whiskeys to not really hit the mark. And trying other standards, such as rye whiskey, have often left my pallet looking for more.
But I found something different when I gave Alberta Rye a shot, something surprising to the senses, leading me to think that there was a chance to revisit my otherwise avoidance of my standard. This 90 proof rye on its own is a bit harsh, but broken up with a single ice cube opens up the aromas of sweet oak and over ripened plums. Pairing this dark liquor with some dry vermouth and orange bitters does not mask these notes either, instead enhancing them to another level. While I may not say that it is the perfect Manhattan, for me it was a pleasant step away from my standard, bringing in a cocktail that both hits the dark notes I enjoy while enhancing the undertones of liquor itself.
Alberta Rye Dry Manhattan
2 ounces whiskey Alberta Rye whisky
1 ounce vermouth dry Italian vermouth
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
1 single globe ice cube
Combine the rye, dry vermouth, and bitters in a cocktail shaker, add cracked ice, and stir until chilled. Strain the mixture into a coupe glass with a single globe ice cube. Garnish with a brandied cherry and enjoy slowly.