The Smoke & Leather Manhattan
We spoke with Sother Teague, the Beverage Director of Amor y Amargo to get his favorite spin on the classic cocktail.
Cocktail | Spirit-Forward | Bourbon
“Martinis are like eggs,” Sother Teague, the Beverage Director of
Amor y Amargo
in New York says, “everyone has their own specific way of making them.”
The same can’t be said about Manhattans. It is a classic drink, one that has stood the test of time in its precise, iron-clad form—bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters work together in precise proportion to help make the drink instantly recognizable and delicious.
Invented around the 1880s in the Manhattan Club (as the story goes) the cocktail has a myriad of variations: if you split the vermouth between dry and sweet, you get The Perfect Manhattan, or if you add more vermouth, you get The Reverse Manhattan.
But Sother has a version that only works to accentuate some of the most beloved aspects in the classic cocktail.
“When I make a Manhattan, or this spin on it, I really like to use something besides Sweet Vermouth.”
Instead, Sother uses a combination of aromatized, fortified wines. “Dubonnet,” he says, “helps provide a rich mouthfeel that is somewhat stone-fruity.” He then backs it with Maurin Quina, a quinine fortified wine with a sharp bitterness, but a cherry flavor. “It’s how I get the cherry flavor in there without an actual cherry you’d see in a traditional Manhattan.”
Rather than Angostura, Sother prefers 18.21 Havana and Hyde, a bitter that is “smokey, leathery, and has flavors of deep cherry fruit.”
He stirs his Manhattan of course, and finishes it off with a flamed orange peel, “to give it a slightly smoky aroma.”
ounces Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage Bourbon
ounce Maurin Quina
dash of 18.21 Havana and Hyde Bitters
Orange peel, for garnishing
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice.
Strain into a chilled Coupe Glass and garnish with a flamed orange peel.