Posts Tagged ‘Manhattan’

Ruminations from the ladies of LUPEC, as originally published in The Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

As I type, freezing rain falls on ice outside my window. My entire street resembles a large, grey ice skating rink. Welcome to January in New England. Ever tried navigating a grey skating rink in platform heels and a pencil skirt? It ain’t fun. On nights like these, this LUPEC lady prefers to drink at home.

What’s a girl to do when marooned at home and craving a cocktail? Work with what you’ve got. When there’s no citrus to be found and a trip to the store is out of the question, straight spirits are the way to go. A Manhattan is an obvious choice, but what about a Hearst? Made with 2 parts gin, one part sweet vermouth, a dash of orange bitters and some lemon oil (if you’ve got it), this drink is an easy answer to the can’t-leave-the-house blues. Allegedly, the drink was famously enjoyed at the Waldorf-Astoria by newspapermen who worked for William Randolph Hearst.

If Campari is your bag and you’re looking to move beyond the Negroni, a Rosita (recipe below) is a nice way to go, a favorite of LUPEC member emeritus Contessa. We don’t know the origins of this drink at all but it sure does make for a refreshing aperitif to whet your appetite for the take out you’ve ordered because you can’t bear to leave the house.

And if you’re feeling like getting creative, you can always follow this basic, time-tested formula for an aperitif cocktail and see where it gets you, plugging in whatever ingredients you have at home. Start with 2 parts high-proof base spirit, 1 part low-proof aperitif (vermouth, Lillet, etc.) or fortified wine (dry sherry, port, etc.), maybe a 1 bar spoon of liqueur if you’ve got it and are feeling feisty, and 2 dashes whatever bitters strikes your fancy. Stir your new concoction with ice and taste, then modify to your heart’s delight.

And let us know what you’ve come up with! We’ve got at least 2 more months of this lovely winter weather to contend with.


1 1/2 oz silver tequila
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 dash angostura bitters

Stir with ice, strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.


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*The latest ruminations from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed them in The Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

A few nights ago, I suffered a truly awful anxiety dream—vicious even, because it twisted one of my very favorite activities—cocktailing with people I respect and experimenting with new flavors—into a nightmare.

The scene: a crowded auditorium packed to the gills with some of the brightest stars in the mixological galaxy. Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff is there, as is Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh and Imbibe! author and my personal hero, David Wondrich, as well as bar superstars from both coasts and every city in between. They’re here for a cocktail contest in which I am competing. I’m standing above them on a very high stage, flanked to my left by the late Jerry Thomas, and to my right by—who else?—Tom Cruise from the movie Cocktail, circa 1988.

The challenge: Invent a delectable cocktail in under five minutes using nothing more than the mysterious contents of a velvet drawstring bag that sat in the center of each bartender’s station. A pistol is fired, signaling the start of the cocktail competition, and as Jerry Thomas and Tom Cruise tear into their velvet bags and start mixing … I freeze.

My heart pounds, my palms sweat, my ears start ringing. To my left, Jerry Thomas is tossing a stream of liquid between two glasses in an arc high above his head, somehow not spilling a drop. To my right, Tom Cruise is gyrating and flipping bottles in time with the music, which is of course “Hippy Hippy Shake.” A smiling Katie Holmes looks on. The crowd roars, chanting “LU-PEC, LU-PEC.” And I can’t move.

I awoke from this terrible scene with a start, and an ocean of relief washed over me when I realized it was just a dream. The chances that I’ll ever be mixing up drinks alongside a 1988 Tom Cruise from Cocktail and Jerry Thomas, who died in 1885, are slim. However, I can sleep soundly knowing if that situation ever did come to pass, I have several classic cocktail-making patterns up my sleeve that would help me rise to the occasion, such as this one, for a delightful aperitif cocktail. You may recognize it as the basic template (minus the barspoon of liqueur) for both the martini and the Manhattan, two drinks that have stood the test of time and are still popular among modern drinkers over a century after their birth. Fill in the blanks and give it a spin at home. After all, generations of drinkers can’t be wrong.


Adapted from BarSmarts

2 oz high-proof base spirit
1 oz low-proof aperitif (vermouth, Lillet, Aperol, etc.) or fortified wine (a light wine, such as dry sherry, works well with white spirits; heavier wines, such as port, work well with brown spirits)
1 bar spoon liqueur (for accent, a great way to play around with more pungent herbal liqueurs)
2 dashes bitters (use orange or fruit bitters for lighter drinks; angostura, Peychaud’s or other aromatic bitters for heavier ones)

Stir ingredients over ice in a mixing glass; strain into the glass of your choice.


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