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 COCKTAILS

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First We Take Manhattan 

Cocktails Anyone?
by Sheila Swerling-Puritt

Each month, my good friend Sheila Swerling-Puritt will be bringing you a recipe for a different cocktail. Sheila is the President of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada and has been on the beverage alcohol scene since the early 1980s. She is an accredited judge at international wine and food competitions. With a background in television and public relations, she has served on numerous advisory boards and has lectured on food, wine and spirits. Here is her debut column on this site.

Cocktails, which took the world by storm in the Roaring '20s, are roaring back and intelligent drinkers want to know about them. Perhaps the recent revival of art deco had something to do with it or we're just up for a little glamour. It's all in the glass, you know. OK, maybe the glass has a little to do with it as well.

The cold grey days of January call for a Manhattan. Harry Johnson wrote in 1882, "The Manhattan has grown in popularity over the last few years." Vincent Sardi, owner of the famous Manhattan restaurant, which opened in 1927, believed the drink was named for the old Manhattan Club in New York.

Essential for the success of this delicious cocktail are good ingredients. Besides, it will let you use up those maraschino cherries that would otherwise languish in the back of your refrigerator.

If you don't have any of the essential accoutrements for building cocktails, you may wish to invest in a shot glass, sometimes called a jigger. They usually have measurements (e.g. 1½ oz.) printed on or etched into the glass. A shaker's not a bad idea, but a very tall screw top mixing glass with a pouring spout will do and, of course, a zester is always handy. When it's not in use for garnishing drinks, one could use the zester in the kitchen when a recipe calls for thin strips of citrus peel.

My choice of whisky in a Manhattan is to go with the smooth, mellow taste of a premium Canadian whisky served straight up. Others may prefer using its more assertive cousin Bourbon, served over rocks. When entertaining, I like to make up enough for six servings, transfer to a sealed container and keep chilled in the freezer until serving time. This way you avoid the ice cubes and all that is left to do is pour and garnish.

No matter when or where, barmen will tell you the delicious Manhattan is definitely on their popular cocktail scene!

Manhattan

  • 2½ oz. Crown Royal whisky
  • ½ oz. sweet vermouth
  • Dash of bitters
  • 2 drops of maraschino cherry juice

Combine all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake.

Strain into an Old-Fashioned glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

For more information, you can contact Sheila at spuritt@hotmail.com.

 

 

 

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