March 19, 2013

A Manhattan cocktail

Manhattans with a gingery kick


Cardamom bitters

Scrappy's sample pack of bitters

Super nuclear cherry

This is a a slightly spicy version of a classic Manhattan cocktail. Ginger is steeped and simmered in 1 cup of water, and 3/4 cup of demerara brown sugar to make a gingered simple syrup. The simple syrup can last in the fridge for several weeks. I store mine sealed in a ball jar. Making simple syrup is easy. Combine 1 part water with equal parts sugar. I add less sugar, and never notice.

The cardamom bitters add a little something special.  Readers, I must confess. I had made this fine cocktail and then placed it on a coaster on top of the coffee table. I thought, "this deserves blogging." So Neeli kicks her feet up, laptop on lap, bottom on couch, and extends her feet and then watches in slow motion as she knocks over the drink. Clumsiness at its finest. In the pic above, there are two Manhattans. The hubs happily gave me his. Feel free to omit the honey. The dry vermouth adds a bit of balance.

A Manhattan with gingered simple syrup and cardamom bitters
Adapted from a classic Manhattan; yield 1 beverage

2 oz rye, such as Bulleit Rye
1 oz gingered simple syrup (see note below)
1/2 oz dry vermouth (sweet vermouth is usually preferred) I like Dolin Vermouth
1-2 dashes cardamom bitters (Scrappy's bitters are featured here)
honey (optional)
maraschino cherry

1. In a shaker (or other suitable vessel good for mixing drinks without spilling) add ice, and then the rye, gingered simple syrup, vermouth, and bitters. Shake for 10 seconds. If you are opposed to shaking, stir everything together until chilled and combined.
2. In a martini glass, add the cherry, and line just under the rim with a a bit of honey. Strain the drink into the martini glass, and serve immediately. Oh yum.

Gingered simple syrup
Yield: 1 cup of simple syrup

4-5" segment of fresh whole ginger, chopped into 1/2 inch slices. I also use a microplane and grate about 1" whole.
1 cup water
1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar (I used demerara brown sugar)

Combine all of the ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Let it cool down, and strain into a ball jar, or other glass jar. The syrup will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.


  1. Love the story. Love the composition and lighting of the photos. Great post Nilam, have a drink for me :)

  2. Great photos and new look. Where do you get inspiration for your cocktails? I am trying to get the husband to make me new cocktails each Friday. :)

    1. I get a lot of inspiration by seeing what is on the menu at restaurants. I know I can make those super sized cocktails much better at home. I tend to like a lot of the classic cocktails and I have a good basic bar book that is really helpful. I'm with you on getting the hubs to make you one each Friday!

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