Monday, October 3, 2011

The Bowery: 320 Main's Take on The Manhattan

Fall is finally arriving, slowly but surely. These hot 80 degree days are giving way to shorter, cooler ones. To usher in the autumn season, 320 Main is introducing it's newest addition to the cocktail menu, The Bowery. Named after the colorful neighborhood in Lower Eastside Manhattan, this cocktail is a variation of the the classic Manhattan.

"The Bowery is actually what cocktail people would call a Black Manhattan, a riff on the classic Manhattan cocktail using an Amaro as the Sweet Vermouth. John Coltharp of The Tasting Kitchen in Venice gave me my first taste of Ciociaro Amaro, I told him it reminded me of the original formula Amer Picon, (a pre 1970 Amaro I was lucky enough to taste) but a little sweeter and without the dried orange notes. This Amaro is so special, the cocktail needed it's own name." -Jason Schiffer

In Italian, amaro means "bitter" these bitters or amari are usually made by macerating various herbs, roots, spices, bark, flowers and/or citrus in a neutral grain spirit or wine. Sugar is then added before being barrel or bottle aged. The classic recipe for a Manhattan  includes equal parts rye whiskey and sweet vermouth with a dash or two of bitters. The 320 Main crew makes this Manhattan-style cocktail with Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Bitters and the Amaro Ciociaro. Bulleit Rye Whiskey is a fairly new label that is full of character - much like it's creators.

The Bowery: Bulleit Rye WhiskeyAmaro
Ciociaro and bitters. Click to Enlarge.
As the legend goes, in the 1820s a young Augustus Bulleit emigrated from Alsace-Lorraine, France.  Around 1840, Augustus Bulleit moved from New Orleans to just outside Louisville, KY and established himself as a tavern keeper, where he began producing small batches of bourbon. Hell bent on perfection, he experimented with countless recipes, finally finding one that met his expectations. Bulleit Bourbon was born. Bulleit bourbon sold throughout Kentucky, Indiana, and New Orleans where it quickly gained the reputation as the bourbon of choice for America's frontiersmen.

In 1860, while transporting barrels of whiskey from Kentucky to New Orleans, Augustus Bulleit mysteriously disappeared just outside of New Orleans. Walter Q. Gresham, Secretary of State under President Grover Cleveland formed a search party to travel from Indiana to New Orleans. The searchers came back empty handed, his body was never found. After Augustus’s disappearance, it seemed the making of his bourbon would disappear with him. However, in 1987, more than a century later, Tom Bulleit fulfilled a lifelong dream by starting a distilling enterprise inspired by the original recipe of his great-great-grandfather. [Bar None Drinks]

What do you get when you mix all these fine spirits and bitters together? The Bowery, a delicious take on the original with accentuated depth and richness that is perfect for fall.
Pairs well with: The Filet Mignon

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