It being Mad Men season and all, Sunday nights now demand a cocktail. And even if it wasn't so appropriate to the show, a Manhattan would be my cocktail of choice. While Mahhattans made with bourbon or Canadian whiskey are find, made with real rye they're even better. As a recent survey of cheap alcohol at The Awl also found, Rittenhouse Rye might be the best value at your local intelligently stocked liquor store, a whiskey that is not merely decent in a mixed drink but actively enjoyable on the rocks that you can sometimes find for less than 20 bucks. In any case, it makes a perfect Manhattan, and the addition of vermouth makes it an even better deal. So:
- Put a martini or old-fashioned glass in the freezer.
- Combine about 2 - 2 1/2 parts rye (if you can't find Rittenhouse, Sazerac is equally good although a little pricier; Wild Turkey Rye is OK but I'd probably just use bourbon in that case) with about 1 part sweet vermouth over ice in a cocktail shaker. If you're using bourbon, especially a smoother one like Maker's Mark, use less vermouth.
- Add a couple dashes of bitters.
- Shake or stir. I frankly won't pretend to care about this issue; the phrase "mouth feel" makes my bullshit detector go to 11.
- Pour into the frozen glass. Add a good maraschino cherry if desired.