Monday, June 09, 2008

Perfect Manhattan

Carl in MurmurHow do you know when you're in safe hands? Eating and drinking out is an act of trust and I've come to believe that there are benchmark items everywhere. I mean the single thing you need to order to know if the establishment knows what they are doing. A pain au chocolate in a patisserie, patatas bravas in a tapas bar, xiao long bao (aka Shanghai soup dumplings) in your yum cha joint of choice. And when I'm in a bar? Fix me a perfect Manhattan. It used to be a Margarita, but having drunk too many that reminded me of battery acid, I switched. Oh, and in case you're wondering, the world's best Margarita is at Adobo Grill in Chicago.

I've had some really good Manhattan's recently. The smoked Manhattan seems to be in vogue, and although I usually give short shrift to remixes of classics, both Cristal bar and The Victoria Room in Sydney do a fine job. Perhaps it's because we're in indoor smoke-free times (and the Manhattan is best enjoyed with a Marlborough light) but both drinks work. So The Victoria Room serve theirs with a smoked cherry and Cristal seem to waft some burning paper in the general direction of the martini glass.

So what goes into a Manhattan I hear you ask? Well, it's a drinkers' cocktail...No fruit puree, no sugar syrup, nothing sparking with bubbles. It's whiskey, vermouth, bitters and a maraschino cherry. All of the major food groups represented then.

I take mine straight up and perfect (meaning equal parts red and white vermouth) and, ideally, with Makers Mark. It's always nice when you have a choice.

Other great Manhattans I have known are found at Murmur in Melbourne (where the photo of my brother was taken) and at the Majestic Hotel in San Francisco. Both are, quite simply, perfect. Like my drink.

The Victoria Room is at Level 1 231A Victoria St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 (02) 9357 4488
Adobo Grill is all over Chicago, but my favourite is at 1610 N Wells (at North Avenue)
Murmur is at
Level 1, 17 Warburton Lane, Melbourne, Victoria (03) 9640 0395
The Majestic Hotel is at
1500 Sutter St, San Francisco, +1 415-441-1100

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Blogger Joshua Graham said...

Hmm - Amanda and I went to Adobo Grill last night for dinner (as it's just up the road from our apartment). Missed the blog on the Manhattan so would have tried it. She got the Acapulco Apassionado I think it was called - delishhh! Ah well, will have to go back for the Manhattan before we choof off to India.

11:33 AM  

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