The Little Red Light House and the Great Gray Bridge.
One of the many reasons why I love my neighborhood...she'll get her own drink named after her some day soon...
Last night at Fort Defiance I was guilty of getting another regular customer hooked on my own take of a Manhattan. Our accountant loves this drink and it was created for his taste, but apparently it suits a lot of other tastes as well. Its a softer Manhattan with a kick of citrus and spice. I wanted to mimic a Vieux Carre and I wanted to use my spiced syrup for it is too good to be used on just one drink (see: First Salute). When John first tasted it he asked if it had a name. I said no, because I just invented it here and now. So in the tradition of letting my regulars name this drink, he christened it the Upper Manhattan.
See, its become quite the joke that I live in a neighborhood on the other side of the city from Fort Defiance, when most of the people who work there are local (or at least in Brooklyn). And yes, the commute is sometimes a drag. But I ask all, where else could I work where I have such wonderful customers, great co-workers, the best food and drink, an honorable boss, make rent and have health insurance? I have not been this happy about going to work since I was a nanny for Zach in my early 20's.
Besides. I love my neighborhood. If I could open up Fort Defiance on my block, I would. It is the kind of place I always wanted to open myself. Good food, good drink, good people...how can you go wrong with that formula? Its clearly harder than it seems.
This drink isn't as complicated as it looks. My boss rolled his eyes at me the first time I told him what was in it when John requested it from him, but it is no more complicated than the Vieux Carre currently on our menu. The Bourbon mellows out the rye, while the syrup punches up the spice. The light touch with both the syrup and the vermouth and the double bitters keeps it from being too sweet.
1 oz Rye
1 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Carpano
Barspoon "Abby's Mix" Spiced Syrup*
Dash Orange Bitters
Dash Old Fashioned Bitters
Stir in a mixing glass over cracked ice, Strain and serve up with a cherry garnish.
*"Abby's Mix" is merely a simple syrup infused with cinnamon, star anise and grapefruit peels.