Friday, November 15, 2013

Notes From The City - San Francisco and Manhattan(s)

It's Friday afternoon and that means Happy Hour!

Today I'm sharing a couple variations on a classic that I don't often drink, however, every once in awhile, on a festive occasion, or when I'm visiting my brother, I partake of a Manhattan. Made traditionally with Rye Whiskey, sweet Vermouth, and bitters. There are many variations of each, and some Vermouths already contain bitters. Of course, the better the Whiskey, the better the Vermouth and the better the bitters, the better the Manhattan.
In this case the bitters were from Florence, Italy. My brother obtained his first bottle of Elisir Di Edimburgo on a trip to Florence, and to my knowledge you can not get it anywhere else. I won't get into a whole lesson on monastaries, monks, medicinal herbs, etc. at this point, however, bitters are made up of a variety of herbs as well as other ingredients, and were originally intended as medicinals created by monks who grew these herbs in their monastic gardens, and created all sorts of concoctions. Think of monks as early pharmacists. Think apothecary  from Romeo and Juliet - you know the one who gave Juliet the little vial of....hmm ok lets not use that example. Bitters are basically digestifs which aid in digestion. They are used, however, in a good many alcoholic drinks. I'm thinking instead of sipping bitters after imbibing, someone along the line cut out a step and just combined the alcohol and digestif in one.
This is a particularly special and delicious concoction and with a dropper-full  mixed into a Manhattan cocktail, and combined with other than your ordinary Maraschino cherry...

 Results in a very smooth, rich, well balanced Manhattan - that also settles your stomach!

For a completely different Manhattan experience, we went to a little local place called The Corner Store. I ordered a happy hour special


A perfectly cooked hamburger laden with cheese, bacon jam and pickled onions

And - wait for it - a Manhattan Milkshake ! Yes, the typical Manhattan ingredients and vanilla ice-cream. Can I just say how absolutely wonderful this was. I'm going back tomorrow for another one.

Here's another picture simply because it was so good. Now I'm off for a home based happy hour with family. Happy Friday!


  1. The equally venerable Bleach-Haired Honkey Bitch makes an even better milkshake, in my opinion.

    1. Well as I haven't tried one I can't really say, but I'm going to disagree anyway. I suppose if you have ice cream you could prove me wrong but then there's that whole tang thing.