With A Cherry On The Bottom

We are often presented with some grandiose scheme or excessive product and told that it is glorious because it has everything plus a cherry on top. Pooh. This is nothing but commercial hype – and puerile hype at that.

It is postulated upon the idea of the ice cream sundae – layers of bad dairy decisions topped with watery chocolate and a preserved Maraschino cherry. The sort of thing that looks better in 1940’s illustrations than ever it does in real life. Well, you can put it out of your mind.

If you want the best experience, lower the cherry. You can still have the artificial fruit but remove the ice cream and substitute 2 ounces of rye whiskey, one ounce of red vermouth, and a dash of bitters. It is called the Manhattan cocktail and it will do more for you than the ice cream ever would. You can still get fat on it – it has as many calories as the soda fountain concoction – but you will have a much better chance to get drunk, wise, and laid. Believe me, all these things are better than ice cream.

Note: One good Manhattan is not enough and two are too many. The same is true for a good Mint Julep. Years of experimental work are recommended to discover how to achieve a perfect balance. You may not end up a scientist or a natural philosopher, but you will have had decades of enjoyment. They’ll bury you with a smile on your face.

The man or woman who invents a practical use for the cherry stem after you have finished the cocktail will win the Nobel prize for happiness.

The Melbourne Cocktail


Okay, run alongside the train of thought for awhile, here. Jump on when you are up to speed.

The Manhattan Cocktail is a delight that generally features rye whiskey or bourbon whiskey, Cinzano Rosso, a dash of Angostura Bitters, and either a twist of lemon or a maraschino cherry. Adjust the proportions as you see fit. Chill the glass, do not let the liquor die in the ice, and enjoy in moderation. Be careful when you type out weblog postings after consuming a good one as spelinge misteaks creep in…

Manhattan is just one district of one city. There are other places:

  1. The Guadalajara Cocktail- substitute tequila for the rye and carry on.
  2. The Minsk Cocktail – out of rye? Got vodka? Carry on. Cherry.
  3. The Melbourne Cocktail – No Cinzano Rosso? Brown Brothers Tawny Port is fine. Wants the twist.
  4. The Innsbruck Cocktail -Rye, J├Ągermeister, and a twist.
  5. The Toowoomba Cocktail – Bundy, Cinzano Rossi and a cherry. Cold, you can keep it down. Warm, it is useful for removing rust.

The theme running through these recipes is a spirit and a modifier from a particular part of the world. But you must always have one foot in Manhattan – you can’t substitute both main ingredients. There are any number of horrifying possibilities in a well-stocked liquor cabinet but then Edward Teller would never have gotten to his present position of love and affection if he had not figured out how to kill every creature on the planet. You could hardly do worse.

Mix away.