I love cocktails. Happy hour is 5 pm daily at our house, usually two rounds. I love Old Fashioneds and Manhattans, but two high-proof cocktails before dinner can be a bit much. As I get older happy hour seems to get shorter.
I love sweet vermouth. (You can learn more about vermouth in Amaro, which I have reviewed for you or visit Vermouth101.com) Some people say they don’t like sweet vermouth. These people are wrong. Vermouth is wine and you need to treat it that way. You wouldn’t leave an open bottle of wine in the back of your cupboard for a year and expect it to be good, would you? No. Refrigerate after opening and use within a couple weeks.
When I reviewed The Manhattan, I noticed that many of the earliest recipes were two parts vermouth to one part whiskey. It was popular that way for some time, so I figured it must have some merit. Nowadays we call that the Reverse Manhattan and it’s my new favorite second drink. It also sometimes makes an appearance as a third drink.
2 OZ SWEET VERMOUTH
1 OZ BOURBON OR RYE WHISKEY
2 DASHES BITTERS
ORANGE OR LEMON PEEL
Stir vermouth, whiskey, and bitters with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass OR build in a double old-fashioned glass with ice. Twist lemon or orange peel to express oils over the drink and garnish.
I prefer this on a large cube; sometimes I just reuse the ice from an old fashioned. As I said it’s an ideal second drink. I’ll leave the whiskey to you. Use what you would normally use in a Manhattan. Regarding the vermouth, I personally prefer the brighter notes of Dolin Rouge or Cinzano Rosso. If you’re a Carpano Antica Formula or nothing kind of drinker, have at it. Still works. Enjoy.