I am a huge fan of the TV show Mad Men. I love the sets, clothes and general air of 60's sophistication. Oh, and did I mention my love for Don Draper??? But I digress. One of the things about the show that I find so amusing is the way they all sit around and drink cocktails all day and night. I'm telling you what. If I sat around drinking cocktails at my office like those characters do, well let's just say there wouldn't be much work done.
I do like the idea of a cocktail hour though. I have read a number of articles in my cooking magazines about the resurrection of that tradition and that some of the old cocktails have been making a comeback. We're talking real honest-to-God martinis, not appletinis or peachtinis, but gin, vermouth and a couple of nice green olives. Another old classic is the Manhattan. This is a drink that perhaps I've had a sip of, but have never understood its components.
Today I decided to shake one up and give it whirl. I didn't have any sweet vermouth, but according to my Playboy recipe book of cocktails (where on earth did I ever get that book, I wondered today?) one can use dry vermouth and it's just called a dry Manhattan. Not being a fan of sweet drinks, I thought it would do just fine. It tasted good as far as whiskey based drinks go. Next time I make one though, I will make sure to get some sweet vermouth and ascertain the differences between the two.
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
2 oz. blended whiskey
1 dash of bitters
1 marashino cherry for garnish
Mix all of the alcohol in a shaker with 6-8 ice cubes. Shake 60 times. Pour into an martini glass or cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry and think of Don Draper!