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Bartender Thinking MM XII Dick Bradsell's Manhattan

Bartender Thinking MM XII Dick Bradsell's Manhattan

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Categories:Types, Recipes/Menus
Published by: thethinkingbartender on Jan 02, 2011
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MM XII: Dick Bradsell's Manhattan
Mixology Monday: Whiskey
When it comes to cocktails in London, and how they are made, you can almostcertainly expect that Dick Bradsell has had some influence. This month's MixologyMonday is about "Whisk[e]y", and so I have chosen to write about the ManhattanCocktail, and Dick Bradsell's influence on how it is made in the English Capital, andthe country as a whole.The main difference that Dick Bradsell advocates in his Manhattan recipe is the use of Maraschino syrup; And by syrup, I do not mean liqueur, I mean the sugar syrup that iscontained in jars of Maraschino cherries. Now where did Dick Bradsell get such a strange idea, you may be wondering, to putMaraschino syrup into such a venerable cocktail as the Manhattan? The story thatDick told me was of a trip to Kentucky that he was taken on, paid for by appreciativespirit reps. While in the Kentucky, Dick was taken into a restaurant and was assuredlyinformed that he was about to taste the best Manhattan cocktail he would ever taste inhis life. Dick was skeptical, but ever the gentlemen Mr. Bradsell drank the libation outof courtesy, and was thus introduced to the Manhattan recipe that he was to make hisown.It should be noted that this is technically a Bourbon Manhattan.
Dick Bradsell's Manhattan Recipe.
 2 shots Maker's Mark,1 shot Martini Rosso (Sweet Vermouth)2 small dashes of Angostura Bitters.dash (circa. 10ml.) of Maraschino Syrup (from the jar)Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass, which has been filled with ice; Stir thoroughly, as you would a Manhattan or Martini, and then stir thoroughly again. For 
the garnish, freshly cut an orange twist, and squeeze the orange oils out of the twistonto the surface of the drink; Add a Maraschino Cherry. Now, some Cocktail purists might be shaking their heads at this recipe, especially atthe mention of sugar syrup, from the cherry jar; But the truth is that there is nothingnew, or strange, about syrup in a Manhattan cocktail; Early recipes for the Manhattanall contain syrup, as well as dashes of Maraschino [liqueur], Curacao, and evenAbsinthe. The Manhattan is a truth cocktail [spirit, sugar, bitters, water], with SweetVermouth added to it. Most peoples idea of what constitutes a Manhattan is based onhow they themselves were taught or what they read in some, not very well researched,cocktail book.Back to the Bradsell story, after drinking his Manhattan in the restaurant, Dick decided to belly up to the bar and ask the bartender there what the recipe was for theManhattan, but the bartender refused to tell, not even money would tempt the recipefrom him. The ever-resourceful Mr. Bradsell decided that he would get that recipe,regardless of what the bartender thought, so he turned his cunning to the waitress,who was to be tempted by financial means, and who thus procured the recipe for Dick, and London. The exact identity of the stubborn bartender who would not partintentionally with his Manhattan recipe was never revealed to me by Dick, believe meI tried asking several times, but I never gave up wondering who it might be. Now theonly clue I had was that he was referred to as "the Greatest Bartender in Kentucky",which leads me to believe that it might have been Max Allen Jnr [deceased].According to the Woodford Reserve website, Max Allen Jnr's recipe for theManhattan included Grenadine syrup, not Maraschino Syrup, and the reason for theuse of Grenadine syrup is quite startling, the redness of the syrup was used to correctthe colour of the cocktail when it was made by the jug! The darkening of the gallonsof pre-mixed Manhattan cocktail caused by the use of Angostura Bitters was simplycorrected with Grenadine for cosmetic reasons.Was Max Allen Jnr the bartender who refused Dick Bradsell's request for hisManhattan recipe? We may never know, unless Dick Bradsell decides to cough up theinformation.As noted already, Dick uses Bourbon in his Manhattans, which technically leads tothem being termed Bourbon Manhattans; What then as you "supposed" to use in aManhattan cocktail?Most people when told Rye Whiskey will reach for their stock of Canadian Whiskey,however this would be incorrect. The Rye Whiskey that should be used is in factAmerican Rye Whiskey. Once again this leads to another question; What is thedifference between American and Canadian Rye Whiskey? Well, by law AmericanRye Whiskey must contain a minimum of 51% rye in its mashbill [recipe for makingwhiskey], the Canadian Rye whiskey, on the other hand, does not even need tocontain Rye, it just has to appear to. In truth, Canadian Rye Whiskey is a blend of actual whiskey with NGS [Neutral Grain Spirit]. NGS is cheaper to produce thanactual whiskey, and it is used in blended whiskey to stretch the "good stuff", and alsotame the flavour profile of the product so that it appeals to the widest generalaudience.

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