Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Rye Perfect Manhattan

I

Rye used to be implied

When ordering Manhattans

Bourbon’s bastardized that, but it’s ok, bourbon; I love you, too.

II

I like to surprise people

By serving them a Manhattan

And then a rye perfect one.

Watch their faces as a new favorite drink is discovered!

III

Tasted a rye perfect for the first time

When an old crush told me it was his cocktail of choice

Luckily, wound up liking rye perfects more than the guy.

IV

Let me back up, in case you don’t know:

A Manhattan (i.e. regular) = bourbon, sweet vermouth, bitters (Angostura), cherry garnish

Rye perfect Manhattan = rye whiskey, equal parts sweet and dry vermouth, bitters, lemon peel garnish

V

Not long ago I was at the original¬†P.J. Clarke’s,

Ordered a rye perfect,

Got served one with a cherry.

Unacceptable! (At least it wasn’t this guy who served it to me.)

VI

Overholt’s a perfectly-good-enough rye

Although I actually prefer Jim Beam Rye

Get over the mass-market stigma; for the $, Jim Beam Rye’s the bomb.

VII

Unless, that is, you happen upon Whistlepig

Like I did when Ryan gave us a bottle… 17 days ago?

We finished it last weekend.

VIII

You know how there are two types of people in this world?

People who like dogs and uptight pricks?

You can administer a similar test with a rye perfect Manhattan.

IX

Was worried I wasn’t writer enough

To do the rye perfect Manhattan justice.

And turns out I’m not, ‘cuz here I am ripping off

Wallace Stevens. (And also myself 7 years ago.)

X

To come up with the recipe for World’s Greatest,

All I did was a) tinker with amount of Angostura,

b) Use up my Whistlepig. But again, Jim Beam’s cool.

XI

If ever there was a cocktail

To take the edge off of five o’clock,

It’s this one.

XII

What you’ll learn when you taste-test

Manhattans vs. rye perfect Manhattans

Is that you never realized just how syrupy-sweet a Manhattan truly is

And that rye perfects toe the line between sweetness and… let’s call it earthy/woodsy/sour graininess

Like a ladybug tiptoeing up a dewy blade of grass (huh?)

XIII

World’s Greatest Rye Perfect Manhattan

2 ounces Whistlepig straight rye whiskey

1/2 ounce sweet vermouth

1/2 ounce dry vermouth

3 dashes Angostura bitters

Lemon peel, for garnish

Combine all liquid ingredients in ice-filled mixing glass and stir briskly for about 15 to 20 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel after running the inside of the peel around the lip of the glass.

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