Monday, September 23, 2013

Don Pancho Manhattan

     The Manhattan was a very popular cocktail during the 1930's and 40's.  You would hear many calls for them from the customers at the bar as you wet to order.   This is another of those cocktails that has a varied history as to it's origin.  

    According to Wikipedia, this is how it goes.    A popular history suggests that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, where it was invented by Dr. Iain Marshall for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston's mother) in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. The success of the banquet made the drink fashionable, later prompting several people to request the drink by referring to the name of the club where it originated "the Manhattan cocktail.    However, Lady Randolph was in France at the time and pregnant, so the story is likely a fiction.   The original "Manhattan cocktail" was a mix of "American Whiskey, Italian Vermouth and Angostura bitters".    During Prohibition (1920–1933) Canadian whisky was primarily used because it was what was available.[9]

Francisco "Don Poncho" Fernandez
However, there are prior references to various similar cocktail recipes called "Manhattan" and served in the Manhattan area.    By one account it was invented in the 1860s by a bartender named Black at a bar on Broadway near Houston Street. An early record of the cocktail can be found in William Schmidt's "The Flowing Bowl", published in 1891. In it, he details a drink containing 2 dashes of gum (simple syrup), 2 dashes of bitters, 1 dash of absinthe, 2/3 portion of whiskey and 1/3 portion of vermouth.
Here is my idea on the cocktail, make it with Panama Red, an overproof rum from Francisco Don Poncho Fernandez, who by the way is having his 75th Birthday this week.
Don Pancho Manhattan
  • 2 oz. Panama Red Overproof Rum
  • 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 Dash of Bitters
Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake until thoroughly chilled and strain into a Martini Glass.  Garnish with a stemmed Maraschino Cherry.
     Happy Birthday Don Pancho, sorry that my schedule would not allow my visit to Panama for your birthday.   Keep these fine rums of yours coming, they are the finest and we look forward to your next creations.   ;o)