Thursday, December 25, 2008

[christmasy rum manhattan]

1 1/2 oz Rhum Barbancourt 8 Year
1 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
1 1/2 barspoon Allspice Dram
1 1/2 barspoon Cynar

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

Last night, after Andrea and I got food at India Quality, we went up the street to spend Christmas Eve with the Eastern Standard crew. Apparently, much of Boston had the same idea as the place was rather packed. We luckily found a pair of empty seats at the far end of the bar in front of Hugh Fiore; Hugh spent much of the evening busy making drinks for the restaurant patrons' seemingly unquenchable thirst that night.

For one of my cocktails last night, I told Hugh that I was thinking about something with vermouth and we came to the concept of a spicy rum like Barbancourt as the base spirit. For the bitters, Hugh went with Allspice (Pimento) Dram and Cynar which added a good deal of complexity and a bit of Christmas spirit (one article on Allspice Dram called it "Christmas in a glass"). It is interesting how Cynar is making a rise in the Boston cocktail scene perhaps as Campari and other bitter liqueurs are becoming too mainstream. Cynar is rather intriguing to me as it tastes nasty straight (to my palate) but wonderful in cocktails. Overall, Hugh's cocktail was rather spot-on with the only possible change I can think of would be to add a lemon or orange twist for some extra aroma although that would take away from the Manhattanness of the drink. So perhaps his omission was wise indeed.

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