Happy New Year everybody!
Although we typically toast the New Year with champagne, allow me to suggest the classic Manhattan cocktail as a festive alternative.
How to make a Classic Manhattan Cocktail
The basic Manhattan is very simple:
Pour over ice, stir and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and/or orange twist.
Manhattan Tips & Variations
Like any classic, this recipe is infinitely adaptable. I'm certainly not a purist when it comes to tweaking traditions.
A very Dry Manhattan uses dry vermouth rather than sweet. A Perfect Manhattan uses 50/50 dry & sweet vermouth.
Stirred v. shaken: Personally, I like a shaken cocktail, even when it's de rigeur to stir (as with a mixture that's all spirits and no juice or cream). I like the extra ice fragments and don't mind if things get watered down just a tad. It's a personal choice.
As far as glassware goes, any pretty stemware will complement this colorful quaff. Some prefer their Manhattan served on the rocks, like an Old Fashioned. Again, adapt to taste.
Don't forget that garnish! If you don't have the fancy cherries on hand, an ordinary orange will do nicely. Peel off 1-2 inches of the orange's skin (not the pith), hold it over the glass, and crease it longways to release those aromatic oils. Swipe it around the rim of the glass before dropping it in. (Nice how-to video here.) Using orange bitters rather than Angostura enhances this wonderful citrus aroma.
See Manhattan in Person
UPDATE: For Real has been reviewed by Jenny Block for The Huffington Post! Read the full review here: "A Hyperrealism That Questions Reality With James Zamora and Sarah Atlee at RO2 Art"
What are you shaking up this year?
Let us know in the comments below.