My brother in law loves to order Manhattans. A Manhattan is basically whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. The whiskey can be any kind of whiskey – rye (Canadian) is most popular but you can use bourbon (Kentucky), a blended whiskey, or whatever strikes your fancy. What I’ve often is asked is what is the best scotch (or whiskey) to use in a mixed drink such as that one?
My natural answer is try to find the most inexpensive one you can find!
That, however, is flippant. You can really use anything you want but my inclination is to go with a blend, rather than a single malt. Single malts are generally more expensive and the reason they’re more expensive is because they are single malts. They show the character of a distillery, of its constituent parts, and that gets lost when you mix it with other ingredients. You won’t go wrong using a single malt in a Manhattan, you will simply be “paying” for something you won’t be able to enjoy. It’s like buying a Lamborghini and driving it to drop your kid off at school – you’re not going to let it loose in a 25 MPH school zone with your kid in the back seat.
So, which blend should you use? Use one that you enjoy drinking neat or on the rocks because you will still taste it in the mixed drink itself. It’s like cooking with wine, cook with a wine you’d enjoy drinking anyway.
As for a Manhattan, it’s:
- 2 oz whiskey (usually rye)
- 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
- A few dashes of Angostura bitters
(Photo Credit: ilmungo)
Funny, I always thought that a Manhattan made with Scotch was called a Rob Roy….