A blog for innovative, unabashed and delightful cocktails. All posted recipes are my original creations. Check out the links for other quality sites that review both classic and hard-to-find recipes from other sources.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sandeman 10-Year Port and The Red Jacket

I've always enjoyed Manhattans, but as I mixed round after round, it occurred to me that I was really just tolerating the sweet vermouth in the drink. In truth, I didn't enjoy its flavor. I would never down a glass of sweet vermouth. Others might, but in truth it's just not right for me. Perhaps it's a taste I should acquire, but it hasn't happened quite yet. At least at first, I was loath to meddle with such a classic recipe. Then the epiphany: why should I mix with ingredients I don't like? To ask is to answer.

I don't enjoy sweet vermouth, but I do like port. I always have. For The Ruby Gauntlet I developed a Manhattan featuring port instead of vermouth. I used ruby ports of decent quality and was quite pleased with the change. The cocktail's flavor was deep and earthy, and slightly sweet.

Then I had the good fortune to try a bottle of Sandeman 10 year tawny port. Switching from vermouth to ruby port was a decisive improvement. Using the Sandeman tawny port instead of the ruby port was better still. The drink traded its residual sweetness for a new layer of complexity. I enjoyed this drink night after night -- as well as a glass or two of the Sandeman tawny port standing alone.

Not content to leave well enough alone, I detoured a bit further from the baseline Manhattan. I skipped the bitters and poured in some Cherry Heering, which lent enough fruit and sweetness to accommodate a splash of Galliano, yielding a drink I suppose I'll dub with a name fitting for this cool early spring.

The Red Jacket

2 oz bourbon
1 oz tawny port (I used the Sandeman 10 year tawny)
1 oz Cherry Heering
1/4 oz Galliano

Depending on your tastes for the evening, either stir ingredients with ice in a double old-fashioned glass, or shake ingredients together with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

No comments: