- 2 oz. bourbon (I recommend something 90 proof or higher and something with a higher rye mash bill. I went with Old Forester, which only clocks in at 86 proof. My guess is that Elijah Craig would be awesome in this cocktail.)
- 1 oz. Pine syrup (You could make your own, but Dram Apothecary makes a wildly fragrant pine syrup.)
- A few dashes of Angostura bitters
Combine bourbon, pine syrup and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice. Stir until properly chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with an orange twist.
I know what you're all thinking, "Pine syrup in a Manhattan?" There certainly is and it's tasty. No joke. I would have never thought pine syrup was a thing until I walked into Vena's Fizz House in Portland, ME. and saw a bottle of it on the shelf. Along with being a cocktail/mocktail bar, Vena's Fizz House stocks an insane amount of bitters and syrups for cocktails. I did a quick Google search for pine syrup and decided to buy a bottle to play around with. First up, an Alpine Manhattan.
You could probably make an argument that this isn't a Manhattan. I won't argue with you. But don't let that stop you from giving this a try. A classic Manhattan is either bourbon or rye, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. This version swaps out sweet vermouth with pine syrup. The pine syrup is sweet, but not overly sweet, cooling, and tastes like you've just walked pine grove.
As for bourbon, like I wrote in the recipe, use something with a higher rye mash bill like Elijah Craig and go with a higher proof bourbon, something between 90 and 100 proof. That'll help cut through the sweet. Not that Old Forester was the wrong bourbon. It wasn't as there are pine notes present, along with some floral and vanilla. It's a solid bourbon. This is a drink built for the outdoors and cool fall evenings.
As for musical pairing? Goldfrapp's debut album Felt Mountain is spot on perfect. It's elegant, warm yet icy and filled with sweeping strings and eerie melodies. Great stuff that bridges the gap between folk and electronic.