AntiManhattan

Jen’s firm held its holiday party last night, at the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan. And it was a rollicking time, with an open bar, passed hors d’œuvres, a long buffet table, and the annual talent-show face-off between the attorneys and the support staff. Which is less painful to watch than it sounds.

I took ample use of the open bar, so much so that I’m really feeling it this morning. When I wasn’t drinking red wine or mineral water, my drink of choice all evening was Dewar’s on the rocks. Can’t really screw that up. Some ice, a healthy pour of scotch, and the imbiber is ready for action.

Jen started on champagne, switched to red wine, and then after hosting the talent show, moved over to Manhattans. I went up to the bar for her first one, and aside from not having bitters, it was an okay drink–two parts Canadian whiskey to one part sweet vermouth, stirred and strained into a cocktail glass. I was impressed that the bartender didn’t just sort of wave the vermouth bottle around the mixing glass or something, but he seemed to know what he was doing.

It was later that things were dodgy. A different barkeep was working, and when I asked for a Manhattan, he just sort of blinked at me slowly. He thought for a minute and grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, poured that, and then blinked at me again. “Uh, sweet vermouth, right?” I said, “Yes, please,” but further held my tongue.

Sweet Christmas!

If you can’t get a good Manhattan in Manhattan, the world is completely falling to shit.

8 thoughts on “AntiManhattan

  1. The world is truly coming to an end when a bartender doesn’t know how to make a Manhattan. Although classic, it still consistently shows up on the list of most ordered cocktails.

  2. The other night I ordered a manhattan. The first bartender looked at me like I was an alien, and then yelled to the other bartender, “Can you make a manhattan?” She said, “Of course!” and proceeded to grab a rocks glass, fill it with ice, pour in some bourbon, add a small splash of sweet vermouth, plop a maraschino cherry in it, and hand it to me. I was so dumbfounded by how wrong it was I didn’t even have the presence of mind to ask her to strain it into a cocktail glass.

    What made it even worse is that it was charged as a martini. If she knew enough that it was like a martini, why on earth would she serve it on the rocks?

  3. I am constantly being asked when I order a Manhattan if I want it up or on the rocks. I inevitably say, of course, up–and half the time it is given to me on the rocks anyway. Even more depressing is being asked the same question when one orders a Martini. And I have learned that, when I order a sidecar, and the bartender gets nervous and ask me how to make one–well, at that point it’s best to cancel the order and ask for a beer instead.

  4. Just as an aside, I wanted to let you guys know that the support staff WON the talent competition – the verdict was handed down by our impartial judges yesterday, so we can look forward to being served a catered lunch by the attorneys sometime this month. :)

  5. I’m gonna write it up for the blog, but last night I was quite disappointed when I ordered a Manhattan in a lounge on 58th Street, and the bartender rolled his eyes and gave me a tiny amount of shit for ordering a Manhattan. I then got what tasted like Jack Daniel’s or some other characterless whiskey, with little to no vermouth and of course, no bitters. Vile.

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