Ideal Cocktail – Classic Savoy Recipe

Ideal Cocktail Savoy

Ideal Cocktail

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

214

kcal
ABV

27%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Ideal Cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice

  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 3 dashes Maraschino Liqueur

  • 2 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes

Featured Video

The Variations Of The Ideal Cocktail.

First printed in the 1917 Hugo Ensslin book Recipes For Mixed Drinks, there are three main variations of the ideal cocktail. 1). The original 1917 Hugo Ensslin Recipe. 2). The 1933 Sloppy Joe’s recipe. 3). The 1934 Savoy Cocktail Book recipe. This is the Savoy recipe, but the Sloppy Joe’s recipe from Cuba is delicious. The ideal strikes a perfect mix of gin, dry vermouth, and grapefruit juice, and both the savoy and Sloppy Joes recipes are very similar. The odd one out is the Hugo Ensslin one, as it omits grapefruit juice and instead uses a slice of actual grapefruit in the cocktail.

What Does The Ideal Cocktail Taste Like?

I don’t know how to describe this one. It’s perfect; just hard to compare it to others. It’s like a daiquiri that’s not sweet and more tart and herbal than citrus. Even that is a poor description, but those are the primary flavors. Even though it’s mostly gin, the sweet vermouth and grapefruit are what shine.

Keep This In Mind For The Ingredients.

The essential ingredient in this cocktail is the sweet vermouth and the grapefruit juice. This cocktail’s good vermouth goes a long way and adds a nice flavor than a nicer gin will. Also, only use pink or ruby red grapefruit juice in this cocktail (any cocktail, really). White grapefruit is just way too tart, but the pink and red ones are a nice balance of tartness and sweetness. Also, the pink and red grapefruits have a better flavor. Between the pink and red kind, you can use either one. Both have a similar taste, but the red is sweeter than the pink ones. So if you want to make the drink a little bit sweeter, use ruby red grapefruit juice, and if you want the glass to be a little more tart, use pink grapefruit juice.

A Short History Of The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London.

In 1893, The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American-style cocktails in London to the British upper class. The American Bar has always been a high-end bar but what set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became its head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British-born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high-end hotel bars. Still, Harry found himself out of work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high-end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the American prohibition ended, the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar. A year later, they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934, the Savoy Cocktail Book documents the bar’s best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there, though. A cocktail cost around $250 there, and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book.

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Satan’s Whiskers – Original Recipe

Satan's Whiskers Cocktail

Satan’s Whiskers

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

229

kcal
ABV

20%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Satan’s Whiskers.

Ingredients

  • 1 dash Orange Bitters

  • 1 oz Orange Juice

  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth

  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth

  • 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 1 oz Dry Gin

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes

Featured Video

What Does The Satan’s Whiskers Taste Like?

This is a very herbal and orange-flavored cocktail. It’s good, but it reminds me of a solid and herbal screwdriver or calvados cocktails. So if that sounds good to you, then the satan’s whiskers is right up your alley.

A Short History Of The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel In London.

Opened in 1893 The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American style cocktails in London to the British upperclass. The American Bar has always been a high end bar but what really set it on the map was when Harry CraddoIn 1893, The American Bar at the Savoy hotel started serving American-style cocktails in London to the British upper class. The American Bar has always been a high-end bar but what set it on the map was when Harry Craddock became its head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British-born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high-end hotel bars. Still, Harry found himself out of work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high-end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the American prohibition was ending, the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar. A year later, they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934, the Savoy Cocktail Book documents the bar’s best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there, though. A cocktail cost around $250 there, and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book. ck became it’s head bartender in the 1920s. Harry Craddock was a British born bartender who immigrated to the United States, eventually becoming a US citizen and head bartender of several high end hotel bars, but Harry found himself out of work with the start of prohibition in 1920. He then immigrated back to England and became head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s Bar. Harry transformed The American Bar from a high end bar to one of the seminal cocktail bars of the 20th century. As the american prohibition was coming to an end the hotel realized it should record all of its most famous recipes and the innovations Harry brought to the bar and a year later they published the Savoy Cocktail Book. Printed in 1934 The Savoy Cocktail Book documents all of the bars best recipes from the 1890s to the 1930s and stands as the pillar of prohibition-era, European cocktail innovation. If Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide is the best cocktail book the 1800s gave us, then The Savoy Cocktail Book is the best cocktail book of the first half of the 1900s. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink there though. A cocktail cost around $250 there and they have one that’s almost $1000, and I’m not the Amazon guy, so good thing we have their recipe book.

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Rose Cocktail No.2 – Recipe

Rose Cocktail (English Version)

Rose No.2 (Grenadine)

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

156

kcal
ABV

22%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Rose cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp

  • Grenadine
  • 1/2 oz

  • Dry Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz Dubonnet

  • 1 oz

  • Dry Gin

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes

Featured Video

The Rose Cocktail Made With Grenadine

This recipe comes from Robert Vermeire’s 1922 British cocktail book “Cocktails and How to Mix Them.” He credits its invention to Sidney Knight in London at the Alhambra theatre. The rose made with grenadine is very good, but my favorite recipe is raspberry syrup. All three recipes for the rose are similar enough as the red syrup is more for color than flavor. So use whichever red fruit syrup is convenient.

Other Versions Of The Rose

There are three standard versions of the Rose, each with a different syrup to provide a beautiful light red color. One recipe uses raspberry syrup, another uses currant syrup, and the third uses grenadine. The recipe that uses raspberry syrup comes from Frank Meier’s 1936 book “The Artistry of Mixing Drinks.” Meier credits the Rose cocktail to Johnny Mitta of the Chatham Bar in Paris, France. Funny enough, the recipe that uses currant syrup also credits the recipe to Johnny Mitta. That recipe is recorded in Harry McElhone’s first book, “Harry of Ciro’s ABC of Mixing,” from 1923. McElhone and Meier were both very skilled bartenders, so it’s doubtful they got the recipes wrong. Perhaps Mitta changed his recipe over time, and the currant syrup recipe is simply the older version Mitta served. Who knows.

To complicate the matter even more, the 1922 book “Cocktails: How to Mix Them” by Robert Vemeire credits the creation of the Rose to Sidney Knight of the Hotel Cecil in London and his recipe uses grenadine. All three are dry vermouth cocktails but none are alike, and who knows if it was Johnny Mitta or Sidney Knight who invented this cocktail. In David Embury’s 1948 book “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks” he even provides four different recipes for the rose and credits Mitta for creating the drink, but then he mentions a third person named Albert as a creator too. He then says that the Sidney Knight recipe is American, which Vemeire said 20 years earlier was instead invented in London. If the famous bartenders of that time couldn’t figure it out, then we sure won’t.

Recipe Resources

Unfortunately I don’t have a free link to the 1922 book “Cocktails: How to Mix Them” by Robert Vemeire or the 1948 edition of Embury’s book, but the 1961 edition is the same.

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Rusty Nail – Original Recipe

Rusty Nail Cocktail

Rusty Nail

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: British
Servings

1

servings
Calories

216

kcal
ABV

40%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the a classic Rusty Nail.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 oz Drambuie

  • 2 oz Scotch

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink
  • Strain into glass with a large ice cube.

Notes

Featured Video

The History Of The Rusty Nail Cocktail.

The standard history of the Rusty Nail cocktail is it was invented in the 1930s at the British Industries Fair and was called a B.I.F cocktail. However, I cannot find any reference to it in American or European cocktail books from the 1930s to the 1960s. The earliest reference to the Rusty Nail I can find is from the April 1968 issue of Playboy. In the nightlife and Liqueur section, Liqueur Legerdemain, Thomas Mario says, “The latest, the Rusty Nail, is also one of the most mellow—a simple libation of Scotch on the rocks with a float of Drambuie.” Thomas refers to the Rusty Nail cocktail as a new liqueur cocktail, and it was around this time the first Rusty Nail was printed in a cocktail book. The 1972 Trader Vic’s Bartender Guide has a recipe for a Rusty Nail that is 1:1 Scotch and Drambuie. Searching the American and British newspaper archives, the Rusty Nail cocktail was mentioned in the 1980s. Looking through all this, I could not locate the cocktail’s inventor or where it originated from. It’s more likely the Rusty Nail was invented in the 1960s than the 1930s.

How To Mix a Rusty Nail.

The trick to mixing an excellent rusty nail is to mix it as little as possible. Some recipes cool the scotch and then add the Drambuie without any additional mixing. This cocktail is in the same spirit as the B&B, and it benefits from a less chilled and slight separation of the ingredients.

The ratio of Drambuie to Scotch is variable too. The lower end tends to be 1/2 oz (15 mLs) to 2 oz (60 mLs) scotch, and the higher end is the Trader Vic style 1:1. I prefer the ratio below of 2/3 oz Drambuie to 2 oz Scotch.

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Rose Cocktail No.1 – Recipe

Rose Cocktail (American Version)

Rose No.1 (Raspberry Syrup)

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: French
Servings

1

servings
Calories

156

kcal
ABV

22%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Rose No.1 cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp

  • Raspberry Syrup
  • 1 oz

  • Kirschwasser
  • 2 oz

  • Dry Vermouth

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Recipe Video

Notes

What Does Rose Cocktail Made With Raspberry Syrup Taste Like?

There are three main versions of the Rose cocktail, and the raspberry version is my favorite. I like dry vermouth cocktails more and more as I get older, and the subtle fruity sweetness the raspberry syrup adds to the herbaceous vermouth makes this an outstanding cocktail. Kirsch also adds a nice strength to the drink, and the three ingredients balance out very well.

Other Versions Of The Rose

There are three standard versions of the Rose, each with a different syrup to provide a beautiful light red color. One recipe uses raspberry syrup, another uses currant syrup, and the third uses grenadine. The recipe that uses raspberry syrup comes from Frank Meier’s 1936 book “The Artistry of Mixing Drinks.” Meier credits the Rose cocktail to Johnny Mitta of the Chatham Bar in Paris, France. Funny enough, the recipe that uses currant syrup also credits the recipe to Johnny Mitta. That recipe is recorded in Harry McElhone’s first book, “Harry of Ciro’s ABC of Mixing,” from 1923. McElhone and Meier were both very skilled bartenders, so it’s doubtful they got the recipes wrong. Perhaps Mitta changed his recipe over time, and the currant syrup recipe is simply the older version Mitta served. Who knows.

To complicate the matter even more, the 1922 book “Cocktails: How to Mix Them” by Robert Vemeire credits the creation of the Rose to Sidney Knight of the Hotel Cecil in London and his recipe uses grenadine. All three are dry vermouth cocktails but none are alike, and who knows if it was Johnny Mitta or Sidney Knight who invented this cocktail. In David Embury’s 1948 book “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks” he even provides four different recipes for the rose and credits Mitta for creating the drink, but then he mentions a third person named Albert as a creator too. He then says that the Sidney Knight recipe is American, which Vemeire said 20 years earlier was instead invented in London. If the famous bartenders of that time couldn’t figure it out, then we sure won’t.

Recipe Resources

Unfortunately I don’t have a free link to the 1922 book “Cocktails: How to Mix Them” by Robert Vemeire or the 1948 edition of Embury’s book, but the 1961 edition is the same.

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Polichinelle – Classic Recipe & History

Polichinelle Cocktail

Polichinelle

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Course: DrinksCuisine: Italian
Servings

1

servings
Calories

254

kcal
ABV

17%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Polichinelle cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz

  • Black Currant Liqueur
  • 2/3 oz

  • Kirschwasser
  • 1 oz

  • Soda Water

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in a separate mixing glass with ice.
  • Stir and combine those ingredients.
  • Pour into the serving glass. Lastly add the soda water.

Notes

Featured Video

This recipe comes from Robert Vermeire and his 1922 book Cocktails and How to Mix Them. Written while he worked at the New York Embassy Club in London, this cocktail is named after the commedia dell’arte character Pulcinella. (Polichinelle is the French spelling of Pulcinella) This cocktail is pretty sweet, but it also has a decent amount of alcohol. If you like Porto, then this is right up your alley.

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Patricia – Dry Negroni Recipe

Patricia

Patricia Cocktail

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

174

kcal
ABV

27%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Patricia Cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz

  • Campari
  • 1 oz

  • Dry Vermouth
  • 1 oz

  • Dry Gin

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes

Featured Video

This is a dry variation of a Negroni. I like both equally and can’t say the Boulevardier is better or worse than the Patricia. It just depends on your mood.

Variations Of This Cocktail.

Popular variations of this kind of cocktail are:

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Old Fashioned – Classic Recipe & History

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned Cocktail

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

213

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Classic Old Fashioned.

Ingredients

  • Angostura Bitters
  • Simple Syrup
  • Bourbon

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass and combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.
  • Strain into glass.

Notes

Featured Video

The History Of The Old Fashioned.

The Old Fashioned is an outstanding cocktail. The post-prohibition world’s best attempt at making a classic Whiskey Cocktail with what was still available after prohibition had killed off so many ingredients and techniques. Before people started calling this an Old Fashioned, it was just a Whiskey Cocktail. Prohibition brought about a massive paradigm shift in the way cocktails were made. Before the ratification of the 18th amendment and the start of prohibition, lightly flavored, high-quality spirits were popular among many drinkers. You can identify these vintage-style American cocktails by a couple of ounces of a base spirit lightly flavored with no more than 2 or 3 dashes of other flavorful ingredients and just enough sweetness to cut the spirit’s burn. With the start of prohibition in 1917, the quality of most liquor greatly diminished and high-quality spirits were priced out of most people’s range, and most trained bartenders left the profession and got jobs that were not illicit. Suddenly over night, there was a loss of quality products and knowledge. The cocktails that gained in popularity were the highball and sour style cocktails. Not to say they didn’t exist before this but prohibition had made them more popular. Highballs and sours were slightly easier to make and had more significant amounts of intensely flavored ingredients that helped mask the taste of poor quality spirits. The epitome of this is the tiki drink, which was created during prohibition and saw the first tiki bar open in Hollywood, CA, in 1933, immediately once prohibition ended. If an older individual wanted to order a whiskey cocktail like they remembered having before prohibition, they would need to ask for a whiskey cocktail made in the old fashion. Keep in mind that prohibition lasted for 16 years; a person turning 21 in 1917 was now 37. An entire drinking generation had grown up not having access to this kind of cocktail. If you are curious to learn more about the predecessor to this cocktail, then I would check out the Whiskey Cocktail

What Does The Old Fashioned Taste Like?

The Bourbon’s oak and caramel flavors are still the most forward flavors, but the Angostura bitters provide a dark, heavy, spicy, bark, earthy flavor. The simple syrup is just enough to cut the sharpness of the bourbon, but not to make this a sweet drink.

Using The Right Bourbon In An Old Fashioned.

The most essential ingredient in an Old Fashioned is the bourbon you use. The Bitters are crucial too, but the simple syrup and bitters are still subtle enough to add flavor to the bourbon rather than overpower the drink. You also don’t want to pick a bourbon that is too mellow or one that is too strong. The bitters will overwhelm you if it’s too smooth, and you lose the bourbon taste. If it’s too sharp, you’re trying to slowly sip and enjoy a bourbon not meant to be consumed slowly and thoroughly. A sharper spirit like that would be better suited for other cocktails with other much more assertive flavors.

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Monkey Gland – Original Recipe & History

Monkey Gland

Monkey Gland

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

195

kcal
ABV

22

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Monkey Gland Cocktail by Harry MacElhone.

Ingredients

  • 1 dash

  • Absinthe
  • 1 tsp

  • Grenadine
  • 1.5 oz

  • Orange Juice
  • 1.5 oz

  • Dry Gin

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker and add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.

Notes

Featured Video

The Monkey Gland Cocktail And The History Behind It’s Name.

This is a fantastic English cocktail, invented in the 1920s by Harry MacElhone. First printed in the 1923 book “Harry of Ciro’s ABC of Mixing” by Harry MacElhone, the monkey gland is a lovely balance of herbal and orange flavors. Funny enough, the name for this cocktail comes from the French-Russian surgeon Dr. Serge Voronoff. Dr. Voronoff. Dr. Voronoff theorized that transplanting more vital animal body parts onto people would strengthen the subject. He was particularly interested in animal testicles and believed mental and physical issues resulted from poor sexual vigor. Seeing how chimpanzees were biologically very similar, he tried to graf monkey testicles onto “dumb” individuals, and amazingly, in a year, these subjects were intelligent and fit. of course, this was a hoax but its Dr. Voronoff’s experiments that is the history behind this cocktails name.

The Influential Scottish Barman Harry MacElhone.

Harry MacElhone is considered one of the great early European bartenders, along with others like Harry Craddock and William Tarling. During his life, MacElhone published three books, “Harry of Ciro,” “Barflies and Cocktails,” and “Harry of The New York Bar.” He is credited with inventing a few classics like the White Lady, Monkey Gland, and the Between the Sheets. He is also recognized for being the first to record other classics like the Side-Car, Boulevardier, and Old Pal and helping to preserve their history. Harry eventually purchased the New York Bar in Paris, France, which his family still runs today.

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Manhattan – Classic Recipe & History

Manhattan Cocktail Post-prohibition Style

Manhattan Cocktail

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

193

kcal
ABV

32%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make the Post prohibition Manhattan Cocktail. While it is a more contemporary version of the cocktail, I personally feel it is the best one.

Ingredients

  • 2 dashes

  • Angostura Bitters
  • 1 oz

  • Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 oz Bourbon

Directions

  • Add Ice To Mixing Glass. Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass.
  • Stir the ingredients for 20 – 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink. Strain into glass.
  • Strain into glass.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Recipe Video

Notes

Featured Video

The History Of The Manhattan Cocktail.

The Manhattan most people think of when they order a Manhattan today is the post-prohibition style Manhattan. Bourbon, sweet vermouth, and angostura bitters. An excellent pairing of flavors, but had you ordered a Manhattan from the 1880s to 1919, you would have been served this cocktail instead. The oldest printed reference to the manhattan cocktail I can find is from August 31, 1882, Crawford Avalanche newspaper of Michigan and the December 4, 1883, Evening Star newspaper of Washington DC. The bartender interviewed in the Crawford newspaper mentions that he was the first to introduce “Manhattan cocktails” to the area, and he likes to make his with “whiskey, vermouth, and bitters” The bartender in the DC newspaper says he pre-batches them with gin and vermouth. Both newspapers refer to a new Manhattan style of cocktail currently in vogue and talk about it as if it is a style rather than a specific drink. A few years later, both newspaper and cocktail books seem to have settled on the Manhattan as specifically a whiskey cocktail. This Manhattan recipe is pulled from the 1887 Jerry Thomas Bartenders Guide. This is the oldest printing I could find from a cocktail recipe book. The Manhattan remained unchanged until 1919, as documented in the Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, which reported all their recipes from 1897 to 1919.

The two changes that changed the Manhattan from its pre-prohibition to post-prohibition form are changing from Boker’s bitters to Angostura bitters and no longer adding two dashes of orange liqueur. The recipe changed from Boker’s bitters because the Boker’s company, which was already struggling financially by the 1910s, completely closed the doors around prohibition, and those who knew the secret recipe took it to their graves. I believe in the mid-2000s, an old unopened bottle of Boker’s was found and reverse engineered, so it is possible to make a similar cocktail to the pre-prohibition one, but for the last 90 years, this is the only one you could make, and thus, the flavor most of us are used to. The second change was removing the two dashes of orange liqueur. This change had more to do with the transition from pre-prohibition mixing ideologies to the prohibition era and post-prohibition mixing ideologies. The hallmark of pre-prohibition mixing ideology was to take an excellent base spirit and add complexity and flavor with small amounts of bitters and liqueurs, with the base spirit still the most forward element. Prohibition-era and post-prohibition mixing ideology shifted to making flavorful cocktails where the base spirit blended in with the sodas or liqueurs. These styles were exclusive to any period, but there was a definite shift in what was popular and sold.

There is no specific genesis of this particular recipe. Realistically it was just 1930s bartenders trying to make Manhattans similar to the ones the previous generation made while not having the same ingredients—a product of its time and now the standard method.

What Does The Manhattan Taste Like?

Bourbon and Sweet Vermouth are a match made in heaven. The two ingredients flavors profiles pair perfectly. The sweet vermouth adds just enough sweetness to soften the bourbon and the bourbon adds just enough sharp toasted oak volume and flavor to bring down the vermouths strong herbal notes. The addition of just a few dashes of Angostura bitters adds a nice spicy complexity to the cocktail. On their own these are all wonderful ingredients but the proportions elevate this to something out of this world.

What Is The Difference Between The Manhattan And Old Fashioned?

Whether its the pre-prohibition or post-prohibition style, the Manhattan and old fashion are, for the most part, very similar cocktails; the main difference between the two is since the old-fashioned uses simple syrup/gum syrup to cut the strength of the bourbon; the taste is still a very clean, bourbon forward cocktail. On the other hand, the Manhattan comes across with a more mild bourbon taste that is balanced against a lightly sweet herbal flavor. So the Manhattan is a slightly sweetened bourbon and herbal flavored cocktail, and the old fashion is a somewhat sweeter but clean bourbon tasting cocktail.

Using The Right Ingredients To Make a Manhattan.

The most essential ingredient in the post-prohibition style Manhattan is the sweet vermouth. The bitters are essential, but they don’t make or break the cocktail. A little bit more than the bitters, though, is the sweet vermouth. Sweet Vermouth that is too old will make this cocktail unpalatable, and the difference between normal vermouth and top self vermouth is like night and day. Vermouth is the defining flavor of this cocktail, and for not much more, you can buy some fantastic sweet vermouths. There isn’t a “bad” sweet vermouth, the cheap stuff is still pretty good, but for five bucks more, you can buy some fantastic top-shelf vermouths that will elevate this cocktail to new heights.

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