Opinion: Equal Rights

Location: England, Europe
Other: Opinion

I recently received my copy of The Deans of Drink – The amazing lives & turbulent times of Harry Johnson & Harry Craddock as seen in a new light by the brilliant Anistatia Miller & Jared Brown of Mixellany Limited.

Initially flicking through the pages one recipe jumped out at me: Harry Johnson’s Manhattan. This used equal parts sweet vermouth and whiskey and a host of other products including absinthe, all of which have become recent favourites of mine.

It is common knowledge that the original Martini Cocktail, first printed by Harry Johnson in his 1888 book The Bartenders Manual, was composed of equal parts gin and sweet vermouth with options to add products similar to his Manhattan.

Revisiting these recipes has brought a question to my lips on numerous occasions over the past week:  Why should the spirits get all the glory?

With such a host of vintage and traditional style vermouths available to everyone and anyone these days we have the perfect opportunity to recreate these brilliant cocktails.

So, it’s time to break out your bottles of Carpano Antica and Cocchi Vermouth di Torrino and start stirring in memory of one of the most influential cocktailers the world has ever seen.

Two recipes that have worked very well for me are:

=Harry’s Manhattan=

35ML Carpano Antica

35ML Sazerac Straight Rye

3 drops of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters

1 bar spoon of La Fee Parisienne

1 bar spoon of simple syrup

-Stirred well, garnished with a thin slice of lemon peel

=Monkey Martini=

35ML Cocchi Vermouth di Torrino

35ML Monkey 47

2 drops of Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters

1 bar spoon of La Fee XS

1 bar spoon blood orange syrup

-Stirred well, garnished with a large twist of orange peel

Many thanks to both Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller of Mixellany, for the inspiration and the picture seen above (hopefully more will follow as I update). The Deans of Drink – The amazing lives & turbulent times of Harry Johnson & Harry Craddock as seen in a new light is a must have for any bartender with a passion for history.

About Author

David Coveney

Breaking into hospitality with the Hotel du Vin and working around some of the best sommeliers and bartenders in the country, David was in good stead for his future. After a brief encounter with an exceptionally well-balanced Tom Collins he fell in love with mixing drinks but was never quite satisfied with the products on offer. He began infusing, macerating and making anything from bitters to liqueurs. Not yet 25, with his own website and running the bar at The Vineyard, Newbury, he is battling with long journeys, expensive train tickets and what he calls the 'Big Boys' of the industry to keep up with all the trends, products and events that are giving him inspiration from every corner of the UK and beyond.

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