Dry Manhattans make a great palate opener before dinner. Substituting Lillet Blanc for the vermouth adds a distinctive orange note and more fruitiness. Also, try using an orange twist instead of lemon.
Yield: Makes two 3-ounce drinks
4½ ounces rye or bourbon whiskey
1½ ounces dry vermouth or Lillet Blanc (see Notes)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 lemon twists for garnish (see Notes)
Fill a pitcher with ice and add the whiskey, dry vermouth, and bitters. Stir vigorously until the outside of the shaker is thoroughly beaded with sweat and is extremely cold to the touch.
Strain into cocktail glasses, then twist the lemon over each drink and drop it in. Serve immediately.
GLASSWARE: Cocktail glasses
Lillet Blanc is an aromatized wine from France made from sauvignon blanc and sémillon grapes. The base wine is mixed with a maceration of different fruits and brandy. It is a wonderful aperitif best served cold garnished with a slice of orange.
TWISTS are 1- to 1½-inch-long oval or rectangular slivers of lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, or other citrus rind. Twists are, in fact, twisted over a cocktail, releasing their essential oils into the drink. Thicker-skinned, evenly colored fresh, ripe fruits produce more of the fruit’s essential oils than thin-skinned ones yield.