The tweaking of rock solid classic cocktails is a great low effort way to have some creative fun. The Manhattan is an excellent base for such experimentation with its simple formula of whisky, Italian vermouth and bitters. While the variation I present here uses some superb Dutch ingredients that may well be completely unavailable to you poor bastards the point is that you can use a similar thought process to inject your own (possibly local) favourite spirits, bitters and vermouths into the basic Manhattan formula which, as you should know off the top of your head by now, is 2 parts rye whiskey to 1 part (or just under) of Italian vermouth and a couple of dashes of aromatic bitters, all stirred and served “up” with a cherry. But you knew that didn’t you? Excellent. My New Amsterdam uses some rye jenever* (/genever, let’s call the whole thing off), the evergreen Punt e Mes and a couple o’ dashes of the best bitters in the world. I added a bit of orange to the garnish because it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want. Now if at this juncture you’re thinking this sounds pretty familiar you’d be quite right as the New Amsterdam is not a million miles from a few drinks we’ve enjoyed together in the past including the Martinez and the 1015. If you’re interested in the ingredients I’ve picked here you might want to hit up those links for a bit more detail. Variations on classics like the Manhattan really don’t need to wander too far from the originals to become their own thing but in my opinion (and, boy, do I have a lot of those) a change in base spirit is a minimum requirement if you’re going to give your version a new name. In this case I’ve used the name of the original Dutch colony on the island of Manhattan before the English muscled in and decided New York was more appropriate.
2oz / 60ml Rye jenever (a.k.a. rogge genever).
0.75oz / 22ml Punt e Mes Italian (a.k.a. sweet) vermouth.
2 dashes of Van Wees (a.k.a De Ooievaar) angostura bitters.
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and orange peel.
Toast Old Amsterdammer Johnny Jordaan for no particular reason.