The Manhattan and the ReJigger swirl October 20 2013


If I had to pick one cocktail to be my go-to cocktail, it would have to be the Manhattan. I can still remember the first Manhattan I ever had at the Wood Tavern in Oakland, as we were waiting for our table. Up until that point, I was primarily a beer and wine guy. But for whatever reason, I decided to have a Manhattan that night and it really opened my eyes to a whole new world. From then on, I started to explore other cocktails as I went out to bars and restaurants and came to appreciate well made cocktails of all variety. But to this day, the Manhattan is still the drink I order the most and the one I find myself making at home more than any other.

Here's the basic recipe for a Rejiggered Manhattan. Start with bourbon or rye whiskey in the main compartment, followed by vermouth in the second largest compartment. We'll leave the smallest compartment empty but add 3-5 dashes of bitters to a pint glass filled with ice. Pour the whiskey and vermouth into the pint glass, but instead of shaking it, we'll put the ReJigger on top and swirl the glass to chill and mix the drink. I call this technique the ReJigger Swirl and it's a great way to get similar results to stirring a drink instead of shaking it. It's also much easier to do than properly stirring a drink.

Traditionally, cocktails with all spirits are stirred whereas cocktails with juices and other ingredients tend to be shaken. But then again, James Bond likes his Martinis shaken, so who am I to argue? Plus, with the ReJigger, there are no hard and fast rules, so shake or swirl as you desire, but I prefer my Manhattans made with a ReJigger Swirl. After the drink has been shaken or swirled, strain it into a chilled glass and enjoy.

The beauty of the Manhattan is that it's such a simple cocktail yet there are endless possibilities by choosing different whiskies, vermouths, and bitters. These days, I'm making my Manhattans with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Dolin sweet vermouth, and Napa Valley Coffee Pecan Bitters. Cheers!