Monday, May 18, 2015

merchants exchange manhattan.

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo XCVII) was selected by myself (to read more about the theme, look here), Frederic, and I could not contain myself to one drink after making the Cobble Hill. I picked "I'll Take Manhattan!" to continue on with the classic cocktail-themed MxMo's, for the Manhattan is part of the short list of drinks if I could only pick one to have as my call. Another is the Sazerac. But wait, why can't we have both?

That is pretty much how I thought up this drink on Saturday at brunch. Keep the rye and sweet vermouth of a Manhattan, but change the bitters from Angostura that I generally use for Peychaud's. Besides the Peychaud's, the conversion to a more Sazerac drink requires an absinthe rinse of the glass and a lemon oil garnish. Instead of a sugar cube or simple syrup, sweet vermouth would act as the sugar source. I guess that I did a similar thing converting the Sea Captain's Special from Stan Jones' Complete Barguide into the Sea Captain's Sazerac in a slightly abstracted way.
Merchants Exchange Manhattan
• 2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
• 1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Dolin)
• 3 dash Peychaud's Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass pre-rinsed with absinthe (Butterfly). Garnish with lemon oil.
For a name, I selected "Merchants Exchange" to tack on to "Manhattan." The original idea came from a Wikipedia entry about the Sazerac that led me to search again and find a great article written by David Wondrich in Esquire. The Merchants Exchange Coffee House was a bar under the ownership of Sewell Taylor until 1850 when he gave it up for the liquor import business. One of his import products was the Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils Cognac that went into the early Sazerac Cocktail recipe. The bar was transferred to Aaron Bird who changed the name of the bar to the Sazerac House; there, they sold the Sazerac Cocktail with Taylor's Cognac and local bitters from a nearby druggist, Antoine Amedie Peychaud. So technically, my Manhattan variation should be a Cognac one here, but I assume that I can let the Phylloxera part of history be relevant here too.
Once made, the Merchants Exchange Manhattan began much like a Sazerac with lemon oil and anise-driven spice filling the bouquet. Grape added to the sip though to join the whiskey's malt, and it added a roundness to the swallow to mitigate the rye flavors and bitters' spice there.

I guess I picked a great theme for myself since I was motivated to do double time via a modern recipe as well as create one. And from the early entries for Mixology Monday and the enthusiastic Twitter activity, I am guessing that I am in good company with this one. So thank you all for building up energy on this theme and building up the cocktail blogger community as a whole. Normally, I cannot wait for the wrap-up post; however, that feat is on my shoulders. Cheers!

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