Hi there. It’s been a long time and lot has happened since the last post on this blog, namely a very extended trip to Melbourne (I’m still there…. I mean here). But while Through the Liquor Glass may seem all but dead, there’s still a bit of life there. And what better way to re-engage, than with a spin on a very classic cocktail.
That classic is the Manhattan. For this iteration, the base of the recipe is intact – rye, Italian vermouth and bitters. Then it’s been mashed with an Old Fashioned – a little sugar and citrus (zest in this case). Then it’s been separated in to two parts – chilled spirits and a dehydrated tablet of sugar, bitters and zest.
The idea is to reconstruct the components in order to make the drink an interactive experience. As the makers, we simply chill (and slightly dilute) the vermouth and whiskey and then the imbiber adds the tablet of sugar and stirs until they have their right level of sweetness. Fun, no?
2 oz rye whiskey
3/4 oz sweet Italian vermouth
1 bitter sugar tablet
Stir the rye and vermouth on ice. Strain into a small picardie-esque style glass. Add a demitasse spoon and sugar tablet. Stir and sip.
To make the tablets:
Use about one cup of sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of water, and several vigorous shakes of Angostura bitters. Stir to combine. What you’re looking for is the consistency and color of light pink sand. Once you have this, add the zest of 2-3 limes and stir again. Then put into silicone candy molds (you could also flatten the “sand” between two layers of parchment and then cut out small rounds, being careful not to crack the cut-outs) and dehydrate over night (an oven on the lowest setting would also work) until the water has dissipated. From the above picture you can see that once the water’s gone, they’re pretty stable.