Classics are classics for a reason, but sometimes, you want the familiar but with a bit of a twist. Kind of like when I’m almost but not quite in the mood for the Beatles and instead throw on the Feelies cover of Everybody’s Got Something to Hide (Except for Me and My Monkey). In this case, a “borough” spin on the Manhattan. Some might call it the best borough. It’s a bit like a Perfect Manhattan but with some underlying funk to go with dry/sweet combination. The one ingredient that can involve a bit extra work is the Amer Picon. As I’ve noted before, the current formulation bears little resemblance to the original, which leaves the boozily nerdy with the choice between making your own or using Torani Amer as a (perfectly acceptable) substitute. I went with the former, as I have two big bottles of homemade Jamie Boudreau-version replica to drink through – heaven help us.
Sipping this on a Friday evening waiting for Ms. ChinaNob to return from debauchery “work conference” in New Orleans got me thinking: New York gets all these variations on the Manhattan: the Brooklyn cocktail, the Bronx cocktail, Audrey Sander’s Little Italy, Enzo Errico’s Red Hook, the Greenpoint and Besonhurst…but what do we get in the Bay Area, a veritable ground zero for cocktail drinking ever since the Forty-Niners found gold in them thar’ hills? A practically lost recipe for bar brawl inducing punch that involves both an odd Peruvian brandy, pineapple and gum arabic?!?! I love me some Pisco punch, but its not exactly a tipple I often find myself wanting after the end of a long day at the office. Where is our Nob Hill, Pac Heights, the Mission, the Tenderloin, Jack London, or OakTown? Seriously, wouldn’t “The Panhandle” be a great name for a San Francisco cocktail, capturing in its name both our postcard pretty famous park as well as the modern day mendicants of our more gritty ‘hoods? Harrumph.
2 oz. rye whiskey
3/4 oz. dry vermouth
1/3 oz. maraschino liqueur
1/3 oz. Amer Picon
Stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with orange peel.
Recipe courtesy of Oh Gosh!