I love a Dry Manhattan, especially this time of year. A long time ago, I read somewhere it was Frank Sinatra's favorite drink, and Jack Daniels was his favorite whiskey (he was buried with a bottle of it). So, I decided to give it a try, fell in love, and now I always drink it with Jack. And I drink it in a rocks glass because it seems like that's how Frankie would take it, too.
How I make a Dry Manhattan at home:
- If I have a jigger, I fill it up heavy and let a bit more slosh over into the glass. If I don't have a jigger, I just pour heavy, maybe I count to two.
- I put a dollop of dry vermouth in it (about the same amount I put in my Martinis)
- I splash Angostura aromatic bitters in.
- I drop in a grip of ice.
- NO GARNISH.
I take it with no fruit because I hate the Maraschino cherries most bars use in America. If it's the real-deal ones that really swank bars sometimes have, I'll go for it, but I hate the candy ones. I usually don't have cherries on-hand at home either.
Sometimes I use a shaker, but it isn't really necessary. The ice drop seems to work fine, and I swirl it around a bit.
The Manhattan is the sonnet of the cocktail world. The best bartenders stick to the confines of the form but nonetheless express great creativity with it, like the boundaries 14 lines represent.
There are a ton of variations, including one with Fernet-Branca, one of my favorite things on the planet. But my Dry Manhattan is inspired by Frank Sinatra, and there's nothing fancy about it, and I love it.
Anyway, it's kind of my go-to winter drink, and I'm drinking one right now.