Category: Bourbon

recipe from
It’s pretty clear that Martin B. Lomasney, the political boss of Boston’s West End (where Ward 8 was located) in the late 1800s, did some not-nice things. In 1894, an out-of-work “oil finisher” shot The Mahatma in the leg—four other bullets missed their mark—and told a policeman, “If you knew as much as I do you would have done it yourself. He is a villain and anything but a friend of the unemployed. ” But we may owe this cocktail to Lomasney. A Locke-Ober bartender named Tim Hussion is said to have created the drink in honor of him, though Lomasney didn’t drink and was a staunch Prohibitionist (there’s one not-nice thing). We got this recipe from Frank Locke’s granddaughter, who wrote that it “originated … at the time President Kennedy’s grandfather was elected mayor of Boston. ” But that doesn’t explain the name. Fitzgerald was the boss of the North End (Lomasney did provide crucial support to “Honey Fitz” as he moved up the political ladder). In any case, the cocktail is essentially a whisky sour with a dash of grenadine. We like it better with rye, but Bourbon’s good, too.

    Pour 1 1/2 ounces bourbon, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon each of orange juice and grenadine into a cocktail shaker half-full of cracked ice. Shake the mixture well and strain it into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and half an orange slice.

Reacting to our classic Old Fashioned recipe we get the real deal recipe courtesy of our friends at measure and 

If you are fan of the art of the cocktail, this site is a must read.

You were so close, so close, my friend, but soda water has absolutely no place in an old fashioned. In the process of making the drink, you ought to have stirred it to a perfect level of dilution, and adding soda water will only weaken and detract from your creation. Moreover, there is one garnish which is not only appropriate, but which makes a significant contribution to the flavor of the drink: an orange peel.

click below for their classic take on a classic cocktail.

The Manhattan

One of the finest and oldest cocktails. The Manhattan was the first cocktail that used vermouth as a modifier. As with a Martini, there are slight variations of the drink that are a matter of preference (see the list below).

I had been under the impression for the longest time that a Manhattan used Canadian whiskey (as I’m told many others are) but after a few traditionalist Manhattanite’s comments and a couple of drinks I’m convinced that rye whiskey makes the best Manhattan. After all, it was the original whiskey used for the drink.




Shake the rye,* vermouth, and bitters well with cracked ice. (Some insist that a proper Manhattan must be stirred, so as to prevent “clouding” or undue fraternization between the whiskey and the vermouth; Esquire says, let ’em mingle.) Strain into in a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with twist or, of course, maraschino cherry (which is subject to the same challenge re: purity as adding an olive to a martini).

Of course, human beings, being human beings, can never leave well enough alone. Here, then, are the obligatory variants.

First, a few you can make by monkeying around with the bitters: Lose the Angostura and pitch in a splash of Amer Picon and it’s a Monahan; a splash of anisette and it’s a Narragansett; 2 dashes of cherry brandy and a dash of absinthe and you’ve got a McKinley’s Delight. Leave a dash of the Angostura in, add a dash of orange bitters and 3 dashes of absinthe: a Sherman.

Or you can tinker with the vermouth. Replace half the Italian vermouth with French for a so-called Perfect Manhattan. Equal parts of rye, French vermouth, and Italian vermouth: a Jumbo. Make that with bourbon: a Honolulu (no bitters at all in those last two). Cut the Italian vermouth entirely and make it half bourbon and half French vermouth: a Rosemary. To turn that into a Brown University, just add a couple dashes of orange bitters. Coming almost full circle, if you make your classic 2-to-1 Manhattan with French vermouth instead of Italian and a dash of Amer Picon and one of Maraschino, you’re in Brooklyn. And there are more — the Rob Roy, for one, but we gotta stop somewhere.

* In case of emergency — you need a Manhattan and you’re passing a bar of the “Rye? Nah.” variety — Canadian Club will do; it’s got lots of rye in it.

More information on the Manhattan

When properly built, the Manhattan is the only cocktail that can slug it out toe-to-toe with the martini. It’s bold and fortifying, yet as relaxing as a deep massage. J.P. Morgan used to have one at the close of each trading day. It’s that kind of drink.

“When properly built” — there’s the problem. For a real Manhattan, you need rye whiskey. No amount of fiddling with the vermouth and bitters can save this drink if you’ve got bourbon in the foundations; it’s just too sticky-sweet. But with rye, this venerable creation — its roots stretch back to the old Manhattan Club, in 1874 — is as close to divine perfection as a cocktail can be. The harmony between the bitters, the sweet vermouth, and the sharp, musky whiskey rivals even that existing between gin and tonic water.

All things change, and immortality is not in the grasp of man or his creations. For many a year, it seemed that the virtual disappearance of rye meant that the real Manhattan had gone the way of the Aztecs. Luckily, that’s not the end of the story. The wave of high living that washed us out of the last century has brought with it a renewed interest in fine, funky old things like cigars, big-band jazz, and rye whiskey. Sure, sometimes this gets carried to extremes, but if that means that nobody will ever again pour a bourbon Manhattan, we’ll gladly put up with all the dipshits in “Make Mine with Rye” T-shirts.


  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • club soda
  • 2 ounces rye whisky
 Place the sugar cube (or 1/2 teaspoon loose sugar) in an Old-Fashioned glass. Wet it down with 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a short splash of water or club soda. Crush the sugar with a wooden muddler, chopstick, strong spoon, lipstick, cartridge case, whatever. Rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters give it a lining. Add a large ice cube. Pour in the rye (or bourbon). Serve with a stirring rod.


Sadly neglected these days, the Old-Fashioned is the ur-cocktail. Originally — in 1806, at least, which is good enough for us — a “cock tail” was a morning drink (ah, America!) made up of a little water, a little sugar, a lot of liquor, and a couple splashes of bitters. Freeze the water, make it with whiskey, and you have an Old-Fashioned. And a mighty fine drink it is: strong, square-jawed, with just enough civilization to keep you from hollerin’ like a mountain-jack.

The now customary fruit garnish — all those orange slices, cherries, pineapple sticks and whatnot — is, according to Jack Townsend, former head of the Bartenders Union of New York, Local 15, A.F.L., an example of the indignities that so many American cocktails had visited upon them under Prohibition. Anything to hide the taste of the liquor. A special no-no is the common practice of muddling the fruit with the sugar before pouring in the hooch. This turns a noble drink into a sickly, sweet, gooey mess.

Finally, the great debate: rye or bourbon? North or South, East or West, Kentucky Colonel or New York Knickerbocker? Since you can make a fine-tasting drink by subjecting almost any of the manly liquors — brandy, rum, gin, Irish whiskey (but not Scotch, which is too manly) — to this process, it doesn’t really matter. But we like rye, if we can find it, or Canadian Club, if we can’t. (CC has a lot of rye in it.) Cheap bourbon’s already sweet enough, and good bourbon doesn’t need any help going down.