Most Fridy evenings, I like to have a drink to end the week. What I have will vary quite a bit – a beer, a glass of wine, a glass of whiskey, or a mixed drink. I don’t get too ambitious with cocktails, I mostly stick to a few standards that can be made without having to have a lot of speciality items on hand. So, Manhattans, martinis, G&Ts, the occasional Negroni, and so on.
I typically use rye whiskey for a Manhattan, though I will sometimes make one with bourbon. My rye whiskey of choice is WhistlePig, which is distilled in Vermont. I normally buy the 10-year, which is not hard to find in the liquor stores around here, but this particular evening’s drink was made with the 12-year bottle that my wife gave me for my birthday.
Over Halloween weekend, we took a little mini-vacation to Vermont. We stopped in Queechee, just over the New Hampshire border near White River Junction to visit the Simon Pearce glass factory. The glassware is gorgeous, and is made right on location – you can walk downstairs from the shop into the glassworks and watch the glassblowers at work.
As we were pulling into the parking lot, we noticed a sign on the house next door that said “WhistlePig Tasting Room”. So, after we finished shopping in the glassware shop, we crossed over and found ourselves in a quiet set of rooms, sipping sample flights of various WhistlePig ryes. Rye is not quite as sweet as bourbon, and usually has a little spicyness from the higher proportion of rye grain in the mash bill. I’ve come to enjoy it just as much as bourbon as a straight pour on its own. With my wife’s blessing, of course, I splurged on a bottle of the 15-year. But I won’t be using that to make Manhattans.
In addition to the 12-year WhistlePig, this particular Manhattan has black Vermouth (though usually I use Dolin red), orange bitters, and a Luxardo cherry