The Manhattan Project

The Manhattan. How many articles, blogs, Tweets, Pinterest pins, Facebook updates, and Friendster posts (yes, we’re counting Friendster!) have there been on this most holy of cocktails? More than I care to count. So instead of boring myself to tears writing about it, I offer up a new perspective:

In every complete home bar you should have a few whiskies from the Americas: Three bottles of bourbon, three bottles of American Rye, some great Canadian Whiskies (Yes, they do exist; you’re a fool if you think otherwise). Not to mention, vermouth and bitters. The problem is many people don’t know how to combine this holy trinity properly–let alone how to distinguish between a whisky that should be mixed into a Manhattan and an expression that should be drunk neat.

We are attempting to take all the guess work out of that with our newly minted “Manhattan Project,” a designated area in our Wingtip bottle shop devoted to the mighty Manhattan cocktail. Found in this refined area are multiple bottles of American Whiskies, with a slew of different vermouths to play with as well. You can use the Manhattan Project recipe cards as a guide, or pick up any number of each to take home and start creating your own Manhattans.

Don’t forget to grab a few different bitters as well. Bitters is to Bartenders, as Salt is to Chefs. (Not an SAT question, but it should be.)

A final note: Don’t forget the brandied cherries for the garnish. The neon red maraschino cherries only have one place in this world–and that is top of a Turtle Sunday from Kopps frozen custard in Milwaukee [at left].

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Brian MacGregor

Wingtip Bar Director Brian MacGregor has tended bar in San Francisco for over nine years, learning his trade from such local legends as Jeff Hollinger, Jonny Raglin, and Thad Volger. Although he credits his cocktail crafting skills to these fine practitioners, he learned the art of hospitality at a very young age from his father, a career bartender in his childhood home of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Brian has, for three years, creating award-winning drinks and building an extensive collection of rare and fine spirits at some San Francisco’s most acclaimed bars and restaurants such as Jardiniere, Jasper’s Corner Tap and Kitchen, and Absinthe Brasserie and Bar. Currently, Brian resides in San Francisco with his wife, Carey, a bartender herself, their two cats and their greyhound, Pooka.

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