Let’s celebrate the Maple Manhattan! One of the best parts of skiing at Attitash with my family every year is enjoying our annual pilgrimage to the Wentworth Inn in Jackson, New Hampshire! The Wentworth Inn’s New Year’s Eve 2020 celebration was when Nick and I began our conversation about returning home to the US after more than a decade in international education. It is a very special and meaningful place to us. And lucky for us, they serve great cocktails alongside their fabulous dinner menu! Their Maple Manhattan cocktail was a real find this year. Here’s more about the Manhattan cocktail and how to make the Maple Manhattan.
The Manhattan is part of the larger family of Martini cocktails, which are basically composed of a high-proof spirit and an aromatized wine (vermouth). The spirit gives the cocktail its alcohol backbone and flavor, while the vermouth adds additional flavor, acidity and/or sweetness, and reduces the ABV to create a less spirit-forward cocktail than the old-fashioned. While a traditional Martini is usually made with gin or vodka and dry vermouth, the Manhattan is traditionally made with rye whiskey and sweet vermouth.
What I love best about the Martini / Manhattan family of cocktails is that the recipes are flexible. As the experts at Death & Co. state in their Cocktail Codex, “the balance [between spirit and vermouth] is dependent on the preference of the drinker” (p. 64). Later on, they share several recipes for takes on Manhattans that include sweet liquors. I love their philosophy on cocktails, which matches my own: it’s all about your own taste! So when we tasted the Wentworth Inn’s maple Manhattan, we knew the maple syrup was a winner addition and set out to recreate it at home.
Here’s our recipe for the Maple Manhattan!
Maple Manhattan (inspired by the Wentworth Inn)
2 oz rye whiskey (I like Sazerac because of its high-corn mash bill, but you can also go with a more traditional rye!)
¾ oz red vermouth (I recommend Carpano Antica Formula)
½ oz maple syrup (preferably bourbon-barrel aged, like our sample bottle from New England Barrel Company!)
2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
Luxardo maraschino cherry (for garnish)
Combine all ingredients except garnish in a mixing glass with a large ice cube. Stir to chill and dilute. Strain and serve in a Manhattan / Martini or coupe glass with a cherry. Enjoy!