My subject this week occurred to me whilst I was drinking a Manhattan in a lovely bar in Berlin. It is the drink I tend to resort to when Im not too sure of the bar, or the bartender to be more precise. Its a drink that I can instruct anybody to make, to my taste and I find that it is a good way to dip your toes in the water, so to speak!
When I order a Manhattan, I request that it be made with Rye Whisky (Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye, 13yrs, when available) Carpano Antica Formula and served in a Bitters coated glass.
Thats how I like them (Not how I make them!)
It is certainly different to what I believe is the first published recipe from Byron's 1882 "Modern Bartenders Guide" but that leads to my point...There are only a handful of places here nowadays where you can sip a Julep from a Silver Cup or have a Negroni served with a sugar coated rim, as originally served in Bar Casoni, Florence.
"Is it almost impossible to get a true classic cocktail?"
At the moment, I see a constant influx of Bartenders becoming more and more obsessed with Mixology, Molecular Mixology and "Trying to be smart-ology."
I find it's nothing more than disappointing when I am served a drink that contains so many ingredients, that it manages to introduce itself to me before I even take a sip!
The question we (Bartenders) should all ask is;
"Has the Prestige of Classic Cocktails been lost in the recent boom of Over-Enthusistic Bartending?"
Please feel free to log your opinions as I am intrigued as to what is the common view towards todays "Twisted Classics."
Until next time....