DC Drinks

Reviews, rantlets and ribald on all things alcoholic.

Monday, January 30, 2006

How Al Gore Invented the Manhattan

I'm no historian, but I find it fascinating how sometimes cocktails can illuminate history. How following the trail of one ingredient, or the perfect mix, you can come across some of the most interesting and, sadly, relevant, details of the past. I would take that a step further (and I will in a future post) that the story of our civilization could be told through the story of booze.

So with that in mind, here's an unusual twist on a classic cocktail. (No pun intended.) In doing research on the Manhattan, I came across the greatest election scandal of the 19th Century. Samuel J. Tilden, who won the popular vote against Republican Rutheford B. Hayes, was denied the presidency based on some unusual counting involving Reconstruction politics (Did they have chads back then? What is a chad again?). The details of which you can pursue on your own. Here's some help from Wikipedia. But it sounds eerily familiar.

The Manhattan was named after the Manhattan Club in New York but mixed for presidential hopeful, get this, Tilden after he was elected as Governor of New York. I can see why he won the popular vote. I would vote for him after being the inspiration for such a great cocktail, that's for sure.

With that said, we don't usually trade in recipes here at DCDrinks but I couldn't help it this time. Let me direct your attention to the ingredients for the perfect, but not "Perfect", Manhattan. The Perfect Manhattan being with sweet and dry vermouth (see here). The perfect referring to the best, IMHO.

1 1/2 oz. Wild Turkey Rye
1/2 oz. Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
2 dashes Angustora Bitters
1 Italian Preserved Cherry
Spoon a 1/4 or less teaspoon of cherry juice around the rim

DO NOT SHAKE, GODDAMMIT! Stir for three to four minutes. Enjoy.

Now the question is, should we rename it the Gore?


At 3:29 PM, Blogger Washington Cube said...

Damn you, Al Gore. Is there no escaping your cleverness? I read a piece recently by Barbara Howar, a former D.C. society maven, and she grew up with Gore. She said she remembers his "cautiousness" and "always asking permission" before doing ANYTHING. And yet here...we learn of all of this fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants creativeness. ;)

At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Gore invented the Manhattan cocktail???????????????????????

I don't think so!

I also read that the drink was invented by Winston Churchill's mother!

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wild Turkey RYE??? Is this some special bottling you Americans keep to yourselves? I've seen Wild Turkey, but it was bourbon, not rye.

At 9:26 PM, Blogger ScottF said...

I also read that the drink was invented by Winston Churchill's mother!
Indeed, the two stories are both correct. This drink was created for a party for Tilden, thrown by Jenny Jerome (later Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston's mom). (http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A1061380)


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