July 19th, 2007

Four takes on the Manhattan

ManhattanMax Toste, bartender and co-partner of the Allston beer and cocktail bar Deep Ellum, is quite pleased when he tells me that he sells more sweet vermouth than Absolut, and more rye whiskey than Jack Daniels, as if all is going according to plan. Well, it is. When you put four different Manhattans on your cocktail menu, you’re going to go through some rye and vermouth. Here are the historically correct options under Deep Ellum’s “Manhattan 4 Ways”:

All of the below are 2 parts whiskey to 1 part sweet vermouth, except for the New School.

1930s – Rye (my fave)
Sugar cube muddled with 2 dashes Peychaud’s, 1 dash Angostura; twist
Stirred, straight-up

1950s – Bourbon (Deep Ellum uses W.L. Weller)
Angostura, bourbon-and-vermouth-soaked cherry
Stirred, straight-up

1970s – Canadian Club (Max’s grandfather’s recipe)
Angostura, twist
On the rocks

New School – Maker’s Mark
2 1/2 oz Maker’s Mark, 1/2 oz sweet vermouth; Angostura, cherry
Stirred, straight-up

And congrats to Max! He recently welcomed a baby daughter into the world.

Permalink | Filed under Boston bars, Cocktails, Vermouth, Whiskey |

6 Responses to “Four takes on the Manhattan”

  1. MC Slim JB

    Max pours a fine drink, and I’m especially pleased that he makes it a point to do so in a place that largely caters to beer connoisseurs. One of a handful of bar managers in town who not only stocks a few ryes, but knows the right uses for each.

  2. keith waldbauer

    4 Manhattans on a single cocktail menu!!!! God bless Deep Ellum and Max!! Next time I’m in Boston, I’ll have one of each…

  3. Adam

    Sounds tasty, but why no “perfect” version?

  4. ljclark

    Hi guys, sorry to be a bit slow responding to your comments. I’m in a New Orleans hotel with spotty wi-fi, not to mention spending most of my time in bars for Tales of the Cocktail. Slim: Agreed. Max is a treasure. Keith: thanks for commenting. Hope you make it to Boston soon. Adam: Hmmm, I have no idea. You’ll just have to go to Deep Ellum and ask Max about that.

  5. Adam

    Thanks Lauren!

    I miss Max so much, and I don’t know why that river seems like such a big hurdle to get across.

    But I was spoiled – I live a few blocks from the Bukowski’s in Inman. It was with Max’s superb guidance that I got through my beer card there.

  6. Bri

    You missed a true classic — the Southern Comfort Manhattan. I started drinking these when my former father-in-law introduced them to me oh so many years ago (well, like 15). He evidently has been drinking them steadily since WWII (and lives to tell about it). A fabulous beverage all around…

    Southern Comfort Manhattan: 2 1/2 oz Southern Comfort, 1/2 oz sweet vermouth; Angostura, cherry, Stirred, straight-up

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