Thursday, April 8, 2021


1 1/2 oz Bourbon (Angel's Envy)
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth (Cocchi)
1/2 oz Benedictine
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Thursdays ago, I opened up Brian Bartels' The United States of Cocktails and spotted the Pendergast from Ryan Maybee at Manifesto in Kansas City, Missouri. The combination reminded me of Preakness with a different American whiskey style plus an increased amount of Benedictine, or perhaps a Manhattan mashed up with a Monte Carlo or Frisco. The name was what made me curious -- a reference to Tom Pendergast who was an American political boss who controlled Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri from 1925-1939. Pendergast was best known for helping Harry Truman begin his political career which led Truman to the Senate. After Pendergast was convicted of income tax evasion (not to mention his suspected ties to organized crime), Truman had to shake the derisive name of "the Senator from Pendergast" from his political opponents by drumming up bipartisan support for his ideas. The tie-in with Manifesto is that the cocktail lounge was originally the basement speakeasy for the Rieger Hotel during Prohibition that was frequented by Tom Pendergast and underworld figures like Al Capone.
The Pendergast began things off with a lemon oil aroma. Next, grape and caramel notes on the sip decreed a Bourbon, herbal, chocolate, cherry, and clove swallow. Imbibe Magazine in 2012 summed things up with, "Tom Pendergast... may have gone down for corruption but this no-nonsense cocktail is clean as a whistle."

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