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

Medium Manhattan but with Byrrh substituted for the Italian vermouth. Stir. 

Compare the Lafayette above, in which Dubonnet is used in place of Italian vermouth.

This is yet another of Embury’s Manhattan series of variants, and not one of my favourites. I remember the Lafayette (04-02-18) as being quite magical, this was dryer due to the Byrrh and seemed to lack the complexity that the Italian bought in the Lafayette.

I do worry that the Byrrh I’m using for this might be a little on the ‘past it’ side of freshness though, and suspect that this is more to blame than the recipe.

Until recently Byrrh, Dubonnet and vermouth were those strange products you kept in the bar for that once customer every 6 months that wanted one (if you were lucky). The issue was however that these stayed open in an ambient temperature, and because few bartenders touched the things we didn’t notice how the flavour changed and they went off after a couple of weeks, and in all honesty are probably partly to blame for these products demise as we’ve been serving substandard ruined versions of them for years.

Vermouth and friends, all under the 20% alcohol point MUST be refrigerated after opening, and even then won’t last for longer than a couple of weeks before they start to oxidise, just like a wine. This is something that I’ve become tough on over the last 10 years, and we’re lucky enough at Goat to worry more about running out of stock than it going off. Even then we still have to be vigilant and date bottles to make sure we stay on top of quality.

Byrrh is something which slipped through my net having been bought as a curiosity more than anything else, and relegated to ‘Steve’s Shelf’ of weirdness in our cold room.

I’ll try another fresh one soon to see just how badly its turned, apologies Marianne.