Typically, I’m not a mixed drink kind of guy. I enjoy my bourbon and scotch completely unadorned … straight … neat … clean. Every once in a while (seemingly more often than you’d guess) I will however, decide to go on a bit of an adventure. The West Side’s Bella Luna offered me one such excursion. It caught my eye for several reasons. First, it was a decidedly non-Italian drink at a very Italian style restaurant. Second, it included ginger which is an ingredient I don’t associate specifically with bourbons. So what was this tasty treat?
Ginger Manhattan – Makers Mark Bourbon, Canton Ginger liqueur, and a dash of Orange Bitters
Makers is one of my “fall back” bourbons, an easy default because it’s consistent in flavor and widely available. It’s also a hip bourbon to put into cocktails so I had no problem with it being the foundation of this one. The ginger gives the drink some body, a little bite, not spicy per se and the bitters play their usual role adding some citric notes that play very nice with the ginger. It was good enough to pass around the table and order a second round.