Essentially Men: The Cocktail

Now that you have spent some time researching that all-important big boy drink, its time to move on to the next step; a cocktail. In order to keep all of this manageable, I think its best to select a cocktail derived from your booze of choice. There are only three cocktails a man can order at a bar with any amount of pride: martini (gin or vodka), old fashioned, and the manhattan. I will, of course, allow an exception for white russians on account of The Dude.

Before, we begin discussing the selection of your cocktail, let’s first understand the cocktail. The cocktail is meant as a refreshing way to enjoy your liquor of choice. It also must have at least three ingredients, with one of those being your “spirit” of choice. I hope you have now realized that rum and coke or gin and tonic is NOT a cocktail so don’t even think about coming at me with that weak sauce.

As I previously discussed at length, through a bit of soul searching and some trial and error, I am a bourbon man. As such, I have two options for my cocktail and I enjoy them both; the old fashioned and the manhattan. The Old Fashioned is considered by some to be the oldest of cocktails or the “original” cocktail. While, I can’t speak to that I can confirm it has enjoyed a revival over the last five years thanks in large part to this man. It’s a pretty simple concoction of bourbon, sugar, bitters and citrus that is a “build” cocktail, meaning it is prepared within the glass it is served. The sugar and citrus act to take the edge off that good ole bourbon kick. While, it is a mighty tasty drink, it is a bit sweet for my taste and I find it hard to drink more than one (which is probably not a bad thing).

My cocktail of choice is the manhattan. The manhattan is a pretty simple cocktail prepared in a shaker with a near 2 to 1 ratio of bourbon to vermouth (I would recommend sweet) and a dash of bitters shaken and served…I have to stop here because this is vital. If you order a manhattan at a bar, it will be served in a martini glass, and if you are like me, you get Sex and the City flashbacks and a sudden desire to stab your eye with a cocktail umbrella. I recommend requesting it over ice, but that is a personal choice…in a glass over ice with a lovely maraschino cherry garnish. I would also urge you to select a middle to high end bourbon as the base for your manhattan as this cocktail allows the character of the bourbon to show through. I personally enjoy it with Bulleit and I might even suggest trying it with the Bulleit Rye.

Regardless of your cocktail, I urge you to be a man, belly up to the bar, and order like you know what you are talking about.

Essentially Men: Bourbon

At some point a couple years ago, most likely during a marathon Mad Men session, I decided I needed to start drinking scotch. I was an adult…kind of, and I should start acting like one. I needed a drink when I went out for work that didn’t need a bottle or draft clarification. In order to prepare, I asked for some recommendations and headed out to the ABC store. I got a couple different kinds and went to it. While it wasn’t terrible, I very quickly realized I was not a scotch guy, especially the brands that taste like burnt leaves. Continue reading