Meet Me in Manhattan
The Manhattan might be an obvious choice, but it’s an old classic worth revisiting. Tony Edgerton is the lead mixologist and beverage co-director of New York’s Festivál Cafe, a “farm-to-bar” concept spot at the entrance of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, just a few blocks east of the base of Central Park. After his years of designing and executing cocktail programs at some of New York City’s most prestigious locales, it might come as a surprise – or perhaps not – that his ultimate choice for the most New York cocktail dates back over a century.
“Obviously, the name helps, but this cocktail has withstood the test of time, not just in New York, but all over the world,” Edgerton said. He provides some background: “Rumored to have been created in the Manhattan Club in the late 1880s by Dr. Ian Marshall, this cocktail offers a deliciously balanced and elegant approach to any night on the town.”
Combining rye with other strongly flavored, boozy ingredients like vermouth and Angostura bitters produces a powerful, warming, slightly spicy and bitter beverage. Edgerton adds the liqueurs Benedictine and Amaro to amplify and round out that flavour with some herbal and citrus notes.
Edgerton particularly likes serving and sipping this drink during the colder months, which is appropriate considering its wintry, warming spice notes. Furthermore, with only bar ingredients required, this is a drink you can make even when there’s no decent produce in season.
“I’ve made many Manhattans and variations of Manhattans in my life,” he said, “and this is my personal recipe that I return to time and time again.”