Sheepshead Bay – Recipe from David Embury’s ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks’

Sweet Manhattan with a dash of Angostura and 2 or 3 dashes of Benedictine to each drink. Stir.

Embury has about 2 pages of Manhattan Variations like this which I’m using as rewards for myself as over the last 8 months its turned into easily my favourite cocktail, with the Barry being my favourite variation of this (16th July). I’m guessing this drink is named after Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, as most names I’ve come across in the books to date seem to be for places within striking distance of Manhattanites. Bizarrely the bay is named after a local fish called a sheepshead, which used to be plentiful and edible until being overfished. The fish itself is not a looker, with almost human shaped teeth to help it munch through shellfish. As you can probably tell by now the town served as a sleepy fishing village, recently however an influx of ex-soviet immigrants has given the place more of ‘little Russia’ feel, and a drink with vodka named after the bay may be more appropriate, as many a Kretchma (16th June) now resides here.

As with a lot of these variants a couple of dashes of Liqueur isn’t enough to give the drink a strong flavour, the Benedictine just creep through at the end, and I added closer to a teaspoon. I think as a concept Benedictine should work well as a flavour for a Manhattan, the trick is going to be settling on the correct ratio.