Thursday, March 12, 2009

manhattan-to-little italy

2 1/4 oz Old Overholt Rye
3/4 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Angostura Bitters
4 Ice Cubes with Cynar centers

Stir with normal ice cubes and strain into a rocks glass containing 4 Cynar ice cubes.

After my foray with the Trinidad Sour at Drink last night, Sam Treadway came by to make me my third drink. There was a pause in both of our thinkings of where oh god do we go from here. Until Sam remembered his cache of Cynar ice cubes. Not pure Cynar since that would have problems freezing due to the alcohol content, but an ice shell with Cynar in the middle. The idea came to him when he saw some imperfect Kold Draft ice cubes that had a divot from where it was filled in the machine. And from there, he sought out these ice cubes, perhaps expanded the flaw, filled the center with Cynar (approximately 1/4 oz or so), chilled, and carefully layered water over the top to seal the Cynar in during the cubes final trip to the freezer.
Sam had previously used these cubes in a tall drink, but we bandied about ideas until he decided he wanted to make me a Manhattan that turns into a Little Italy (see recipe below). The Manhattan he made for me was delicious -- and I was glad to discover that my taste receptors were still able to enjoy Angostura bitters after having had the Trinidad Sour. I think that Sam overchilled (well, properly chilled) the Manhattan before adding it to the Cynar ice cubes in the rocks glass, for the ice shell took a while to melt. I nursed the drink while reading and tasted it every page or so. And then one sip by surprise, my mouth realized that one of the cubes had been breached and released its quanta of Cynar goodness. The drink was now more bitter and complex like a Little Italy. Each cube lysed at their own rates with the partially exposed ones going slower than the submerged ones. Towards the end of the cocktail, the drink entered a third stage of being mainly Cynar on ice as the last Cynar time bomb exploded. With perhaps only a partial stir on regular ice (if any initial cooling at all), this drink could have been enjoyed without the wait. No complaints since it was my last cocktail and stretching it out was not such a bad thing; moreover, the end result was very much worth experiencing.
Little Italy
• 2 oz Rye
• 1/2 oz Cynar
• 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with two cocktail cherries skewered on a pick.


andrea said...


frederic said...

Sorry for rubbing it in, but friggin' CYNAR BOMBS!!!