Whisky Magazine Issue 107
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Neil Ridley has a few suggestions to get your Manhattan perfect and your Sour really singing
Perhaps it's just me, but there's a point about 15 seconds before being served a cocktail that causes me a slight anxiety. Call it over zealousness or, the beginnings of a syndrome that probably needs investigating further by an expert in obsessions. But a number of bars (excluding the ones with owners who suffer from the same syndrome as me) perpetually take the shine off a well made and beautifully balanced cocktail by garnishing them with totally rubbish cherries.
As petty a thing as it may sound, the search for great cocktail cherries is now creating a bit of a stir amongst the cocktail and whiskey community alike, given the rise in popularity for classic drinks such as the Manhattan and Whiskey Sour. With such a sense of revivalism, bartenders and home cocktail enthusiasts are spending a small fortune on the tools and liquid to create perfect recreations of these timeless drinks, or in many cases, ‘the ultimate version', but are let down at the final hurdle by overly sweet or artificial tasting cocktail cherries.
So I thought it high time to take the plunge and have a go at bottling my own cherries and with a little consultation from a few top bartenders, I think I've cracked it.
“It's well worth experimenting with your own recipe, especially when cherries are in season,” points out Ryan Chetiyawardana, cocktailier extraordinaire and until recently, proprietor of London's best new bar, The Whistling Shop.
“However it's really easy to totally butcher the actua...