Tag Archives: Bourbon

Manhattan Special looks a bit like Jupiter. I like that! Manhattan Special Cocktail uses Bourbon or Rye, Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth and Cherry Garnish - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Manhattan Special Cocktail

Manhattan Special Cocktail uses Bourbon or Rye, Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth and Cherry Garnish - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist
Manhattan Special Cocktail uses Bourbon or Rye, Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth and Cherry Garnish – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

The Manhattan Special Cocktail calls for cocktail glass serve. The particular evening I sampled the Manhattan Special I was feeling a bit more on the rocks than swooning over a cocktail. It was a beautiful evening spent out on the deck with moderate temperatures. It felt like the perfect evening for an oversized glass with oversized ice ball and a very special variation on the classic Manhattan.

The Manhattan Special Cocktail Recipe

Manhattan Special looks a bit like Jupiter. I like that! Manhattan Special Cocktail uses Bourbon or Rye, Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth and Cherry Garnish - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist
Manhattan Special looks a bit like Jupiter. I like that! Manhattan Special Cocktail uses Bourbon or Rye, Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth and Cherry Garnish – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Just a note… as my friend Tom Ufer commented, the Manhattan Special looks a bit like Jupiter. I like that!

Manhattan Special

1-1/2 ounce Rye or Bourbon

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth

1/2 ounce Benedictine

1 dash Classic Bitters

Cherry Garnish – optional

Combine liquids in mixing glass with ice. Stir until completely chilled. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

By the way… that Jupiter look was made by first placing a large ice ball in a slightly oversized, rounded glass. Pour rye over ice ball followed by vermouth and Benedictine. Do not stir. Add dash of bitters. {I added about 3 dashes of bitters and no cherry}. Watch the rings just start to float around the ice ball.

Manhattan Special Cocktail Notes

I opted for Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey at 100 proof for the Manhattan Special. Rittenhouse is an affordable rye with cinnamon notes. Benedictine and vermouth carry the cinnamon notes to a higher level with enough weight and sweetness to smooth out any rough edges in the rye.

What Makes My Manhattan Special ?

People ask me all the time, “What is your favorite bourbon.” The short answer; I don’t have a favorite bourbon. I have favorite bourbons for favorite recipes. My bar cabinet is stocked with five, six or maybe ten different brands at any given time. These are the bourbons I purchase, not bourbon samples. The longer, more accurate answer; I have particular bourbons I favor for particular drinks. I have particular glasses I favor for particular drinks and cocktails, too.

Maker's Mark Manhattan with Carpano Antica Formula is just one variation of a classic Manhattan - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist
Maker’s Mark Manhattan with Carpano Antica Formula is just one variation of a classic Manhattan – photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

My typical Manhattan is made with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Carpano Antica Formula and usually Angostura Bitters. The cherry might be one of my Bourbon Spiced Cherries, a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry, or one of those regular every day ice cream topper cherries you find at the grocery store. I might even skip the cherry.

Praline Pecan Pie Manhattan uses Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Praline Pecan Pie Liqueur, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Bitters and Orange Twist - recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist
Praline Pecan Pie Manhattan uses Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Praline Pecan Pie Liqueur, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Bitters and Orange Twist – recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

I also make a Praline Pecan Pie Manhattan cocktail variation with Woodford Reserve Bourbon and Praline Pecan Liqueur with orange twist that is heavenly. {That is my opinion, of course. Sample it and tell me your thoughts, please!}

Then again I venture way off course with Tony Abou-Ganim’s Just For Mary cocktail. Look closely at the ingredients and you find the awesomely delicious wayward Manhattan; (ri)1 Straight Rye Whiskey, Heering Cherry Liqueur, Lillet Blanc, Orange Bitters and Brandied Cherry Garnish. Trust me. It is a must try more than once kind of cocktail. I have.

So really, I don’t have one favorite bourbon. I have several bourbons I like to drink neat, on the rocks and in cocktails. They all taste a little different and I choose them like I choose a pair of shoes. Am I feeling laid back? Dressy? Spicy? Sassy? Bourbons are the same. They are spicy, sophisticated, sweet, dry, rounded, floral, dry, etc. You name it, bourbon has it. There is a recipe and mood to fit it. Choose wisely. Stir it. Sip it. Enjoy it. Try it again.

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Left Hand Cocktail is a variation of the Negroni classic cocktail and Boulevardier cocktail - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Left Hand Cocktail

Cinnabar Negroni variation on the Negroni classic cocktail - photo by Cheri Loughlin
Cinnabar Negroni variation on the Negroni classic cocktail – photo by Cheri Loughlin

The Left Hand cocktail caught my eye for one very specific reason. It could be considered a family member of the Negroni classic cocktail. The Negroni is one of my very favorite cocktails. The Negroni is this wonderful mix of pungent punch of flavor with herbal spice and ribbon of sweet weaved through it in excellent balance and harmony. It is one of those cocktails that lingers long on the palate. It sips slow and easy.

I just love it!

I love it so much I can’t help but play with the recipe, tweaking it with different ingredients, a spice here or there, varying the measurements, sampling with varied spirits. The Negroni is a three ingredient drink that just fascinates me.

So I had to see what the Left Hand was up to.

Left Hand Cocktail Recipe

Left Hand Cocktail is a variation of the Negroni classic cocktail and Boulevardier cocktail - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist
Left Hand Cocktail is a variation of the Negroni classic cocktail and Boulevardier cocktail – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Left Hand

1-1/2 ounce Bourbon

3/4 ounce Carpano Antica Formula {Red Vermouth}

3/4 ounce Campari

2 dashes Chocolate Bitters

Brandied Cherry Garnish

Combine liquids in mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with cherry.

Left Hand Cocktail Suggested Modifications

I would reduce the Campari to 1/2 ounce. While wonderful, Campari can overpower a cocktail with its strong flavor.

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters contain terrific cinnamon spice flavor with flavor mix of spiced root beer and cola withouth the sweetener - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist
Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters contain terrific cinnamon spice flavor with flavor mix of spiced root beer and cola withouth the sweetener – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Chocolate bitters tasted alone remind me a little of spiced root beer and cola mixed without any of the sweetener. They have terrific cinnamon spice flavor. For that reason, I would certainly go a bit heavier on the chocolate bitters. After all, why use them if they go unnoticed. And they did seem to go unnoticed with only 2 dashes in the recipe above. Four heavy dashes brings lots of mocha depth to this cocktail. I like!

If you can’t find brandied cherries in your local market, make your own Bourbon Spiced Cherries.

Left Hand Cocktail Similarities

The Left Hand cocktail is similar to the Boulevardier cocktail but with the addition of chocolate bitters. The Boulevardier is a variation on the Negroni classic cocktail. The Negroni is often served on the rocks or in a chilled martini glass. Casey Barber of Good Food Stories gives a little run down on the origin of the Negroni for a little cocktail hour trivia.

Stirring a Cocktail rather than shaking - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist
Stirring a Cocktail rather than shaking – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Add your comment: When mixing cocktails at home, do you follow the “stir” rather than “shake” instruction or just throw it all together as quickly as possible?

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Pork Terrine Glazed Eel & Pickled Mustard Seed 146

Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013 Grand Tasting

It was recently my pleasure to have been invited to attend the Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013 (PBFW) event in Pebble Beach, California. Driscoll’s berry growers invited me to join a group of talented food and cocktail writers for a weekend of education that included Driscoll’s University “field to fork” learning event and the Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013 Grand Tasting event with additional classes. Driscoll’s was also a sponsor of the PBFW event.

Driscoll’s Lounge

Driscoll's Berry Lounge - PBFW2013

The Driscoll’s Lounge featured berry-licious foods with amazingly fresh berries as the centerpiece. There was even a fresh berry cocktail with non-alcoholic mocktail provided for those interested in a liquid treat that wasn’t of the wine variety.

Driscoll's Berry Lounge - PBFW2013

Driscoll's Berry Lounge - PBFW2013

Stay tuned for future post detailing just how serious Driscoll’s is about providing you and me with the finest berries nature has to offer. Two Peas and Their Pod has already written a post covering the Driscoll’s University tour and Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013 tasting event through her eyes. Tess Masters of The Blender Girl created a wonderful fresh Strawberry Smoothie that everyone in our group raved about while on the Driscoll’s Tour. You might want to try it too. By the way, Tess is amazing! She and others will be writing about Driscoll’s and the Pebble Beach Food & Wine event soon, too.

Chocolates by Jacques Torres

Chocolates by Jacques Torres

I’m not sure how Chef Jacques Torres had so much energy this far into the Pebble Beach Food & Wine event, but this is an amazingly generous and gregarious gentleman. Chef Torres entertained with his incredible smile and of course, plentiful chocolates.

60 percent Dark Chocolate Sheets Melt in your with with lays potato chips in it

Though there was much to choose from and “Mr. Chocolate” encouraged me to sample a little of everything, I chose the 60% dark chocolate sheets with crunchy potato chips layered in the chocolate. They were thin, crisp and melt in your mouth good. I took a quick look at Mr. Chocolate online and found some really cute Champagne Truffles (with real champagne) in the shape of champagne corks of course! I think they are a must have!! Be sure to keep up with Jacques Torres on Twitter (@JacquesTorres) and Facebook.

The Gold Rush Cocktail

The Gold Rush Cocktail is a 3 ingredient drink consisting of bourbon, honey and lemon juice. The booth’s menu board said as much, but all I saw on the back table was Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey. So, I asked which bourbon was used in The Gold Rush cocktail. The bartender said it actually contained Bushmills Irish Whiskey and some sort of liqueur to mimic the flavor of bourbon.

I’m wondering why the menu board said bourbon rather than Irish Whiskey? Aren’t we trying to educate consumers rather than keep people confused?

Gold Rush Cocktail 105

Gold Rush Cocktail

2 ounces Bourbon

1 ounce Honey Syrup*

3/4 ounce Lemon Juice

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice. *Honey Syrup: 1 part Honey to 1/2 part Water – Mix honey with heated water. Stir. Allow to cool.

Church & State Bistro rolled out their new summer 2012 cocktail menu last year which included a variation on the Gold Rush Cocktail called Elope containing Bushmills Irish Whiskey, cantaloupe, lemon and honey syrup. It is also served on the rocks. Find it and several other tasty sounding cocktails in the link provided. Another variation can be made with ginger liqueur served martini style found on the Two Tarts blog.

Champagne Delamotte Brut

Champagne Delamotte Brut 116

Champagne Delamotte Brut NV: 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier.

Champagne Delamotte Brut 118

“Champagne Delamotte expresses to perfection the characteristics of this noble variety. Light, gossamer-textured, impertinent, more complex with aging, discreet, yet present, heady but not heavy. Champagne at any time, for any occasion.” – Salon Delamotte

Domaine Carneros Taittinger

Domaine Carneros Taittinger Brut 2008 124

Can I just say I love champagne?! Bubbly in general. I think it’s just spectacular.

I sampled the Domaine Carneros Taittinger Brut 2008. It was quite busy in front of this particular sampling area, so I was fortunate just to get a taste and a photograph. Unfortunately I don’t have sampling notes. What I can say is that it was so delicious I really did want to go back for seconds or thirds even, but hardly thought that was the point in sampling a wide variety of spirits. I stuck to one sample only.

Brut-style champagnes are traditionally comprised of chardonnay and pinot noir. Brut refers to the level of sugar content in the wine. Domaine Carneros has received high acclaim through the years for its Brut Cuvée. It has been recognized for its consistent quality and affordable price. It has been described as having a mousse-like creamy texture, with hints of citrus, apple and pear with some sweet berry fruit.

In a word; luscious!

Caricature Wine

Caricature Red Blend Wine 130

To be perfectly honest the label is what caught my eye and I’m glad it did. Caricature wine is indeed easy to sip just as it is described. It is an 84% Cabernet and 16% Zinfandel blend, estate grown by the LangeTwins Family. Certified sustainable. The wine is currently sold in Texas and California. It can also be purchased online for $15. Extremely reasonable! Ideal for everyday sipping and a perfect bottle to give as a hostess gift.

“The wine is full of rich aromas and flavors of plums, blackberries and dark cherries. It’s jammy and indulgent with a stroke of oak bestowing a poised spice.” Caricature Wine

Nose to Tail Tamale

Nose to Tail Tamale 132

Nose to Tail Tamale by Chef Ray Garcia, Fig Restaurant, Santa Monica. Delicious! Spicy good! This scrumptious small bite could have easily become an entire meal with more bites of course. It was so good!

Hypothesis Cabernet Sauvignon

Hypothesis Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 137

Hypothesis Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Roots Run Deep Winery. It is considered the FIRST wine of its kind due to a winemaking technique called flash détente or “instant relaxation.” This technique was created in Europe in the 1990s and introduced to the United States in 2009. It involves quickly heating and cooling the skins of the fruit before the fermentation process. This results in vibrant color, flavor and positive tannin extraction. This is a natural, organic process.

In my opinion the taste results are incredible. According to the presenter, Hypothesis Cabernet Sauvignon received 92 points from Wine Enthusiasts, December 2012. It is priced in the $35 range.

Pork Terrine Glazed Eel & Pickled Mustard Seed

Pork Terrine Glazed Eel & Pickled Mustard Seed 146

The presentation was spectacular. Who can resist rows of small plates flawlessly presented with foods we don’t usually whip up in the kitchen every day? Glazed eel?! I was of course intrigued. It was beautiful and delicious. Chef Angie Berry created a lovely dish.

Pork Terrine Glazed Eel & Pickled Mustard Seed 144

I’ll admit one other thing here and now. I love food. I love savoring flavors. The best way I could describe this particular small dish is it tasted like an extremely extravagant tuna sandwich one would eat with a fork. Neither my tuna salad recipes or tuna sandwiches ever turn out so delectable, but the texture, pickling and tangy kick reminded me just a little of that familiar flavor. My apologies for a less than sophisticated description to this enchanting small dish.

Special thank you to Driscoll’s for inviting me along on this amazing journey. Follow Driscoll’s on Facebook and Twitter @driscollsberry.

Driscolls Sponsored Post

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

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