These two drinks were the product of tinkering around with a couple of my favorites - the Manhattan and the Boulevardier. The Employee's Only version of the Manhattan is particularly nice and leans heavily on the vermouth while adding a bit of Grand Marnier. It's their version of the classic and man, is it delicious. The Boulevardier, basically a bourbon Negroni, continues to get regular attention around the house although I usually sub Cynar for the sweet vermouth.

Bourbon/rye, Cynar, vermouth, Campari - those are all desert island ingredients in my book. I'm also a big fan of Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy. When I can get it (thanks Martha!). Pairing apple brandy with whiskey has been done before (Conference, American Trilogy, The Swafford, Historic Core...), and for good reason - that combination is delicious. Those two ingredients have a natural affinity for one another. 

The following two drinks have a similar core (rye and apple brandy base, vermouth, Grand Marnier) but are fleshed out differently. The Hill House is basically a Manhattan variation while the Gravity Note takes it's cue, loosely, from the Boulevardier. 

Hill House left, Gravity Note right. This picture was taken earlier in the week. Before a bunch of snow covered everything.

Hill House left, Gravity Note right. This picture was taken earlier in the week. Before a bunch of snow covered everything.

Hill House falls comfortably between EO's Manhattan and the Grandfather by Sam Ross. This one is rich, round and soft with a silky smooth texture. Laird's extra proof helps it hold it's own allowing for a pronounced but not dominant apple quality. Old Overholt contributes some spice and caramel while Grand Marnier adds oranges and additional body.

Gravity Note is also rich and while it reminds me of a Boulevardier the absence of Campari helps it stake out darker territory. Unlike the previous drink which was also rich but spirit driven, here the rye and apple brandy find themselves among company that's a bit more intense with the herbs. Still, plenty of apples, spice and caramel with hints of orange and brandy, it just ends up darker and more bitter than the previous drink.

 

Hill House
1 1/2 oz Old Overholt
1 oz Sweet Vermouth, Vya
3/4 oz Laird's Bonded
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
2 dashes Angostura
Garnish - Lemon Twist

Stir, strain, up

 

Gravity Note
1 oz Old Overholt
1 oz Laird's Bonded
1 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth, Vya
+1/4 oz Grand Marnier
Garnish - Orange Twist

Build over ice

 

 

Posted
AuthorTrey