Sometimes all the things you are looking for just don't fall into place. People, places and ingredients; we often have expectations that reality can't live up to. If we are unyielding we just move on to the next insurmountable feat. If we stop and give ourselves the chance to breathe we open ourselves to a world of opportunity.
I was asked to write about a manhattan, best made with a particular bourbon. I had all the ingredients lined up and then time got away from me and it would be months before I could could live up to my promise. Frustrated, I went on my way....
A flight delay in Detroit and a well stocked duty free shop set things back in motion, but with a substitute sour mash. Black market vermouth, got me closer to the recipe. Then a months long search for maraschino cherries in the urban jungles of mainland China produced tiny fresh cherries. Sweet, sour and full of pits, I improvised buy getting them drunk.
It all waited for a time when some tired souls were finally able to rest, relax and enjoy... While the world around us was out on the street burning paper money in celebration of long past relatives during the Qing Ming (tomb sweeping) holiday, Melissa, Maggie and myself enjoyed a manhattan.
- 2 ounces Marker's Mark bourbon
- 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
- 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
- 2 dashes Campari
- Tiny sour cherries, soaked in bourbon for days, as a garnish
Not a perfect manhattan by any stretch. An old had to olive jar served as a cocktail shaker. Angostura bitters had been left off the shopping list and Campari was called to the rescue. This gave our cocktails a smoky flavor that blended lusciously with the unique style of Makers Mark. It is a recipe to put an end to a tiring, gray day and open up the opportunities of a brighter tomorrow. Happenstance is a wonderful thing.
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