Friday, January 6, 2012

Read a Book, Sip a Cocktail No. 13

Photo from
So to start off the new year I'm going with one of my all time favorite books, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.  Her life was not exactly picture perfect, but I loved The Bell Jar because I think that anyone who has ever felt depressed or alienated can relate to the character of Esther Greenwood, and that was what really touched me about the book - the flaws of life.  Those times when you do feel like you are under a glass dome of a bell jar and you feel alone, on display, and ultimately removed from the world and from yourself.  I know, I know, not exactly the stuff of happy dreams, but still a fantastic piece of literature.  After all, in order to appreciate the good, we must appreciate the bad.  For the cocktail pairing I decided to do a bit of a Manhattan with a sweeter touch.  The book is set in New York, so of course I had to do an homage to that city that never sleeps.  A "real" Manhattan typically uses whiskey, sweet vermouth and angostura bitters.  I made mine with Southern Comfort, sweet vermouth and orange bitters.  I really liked the balance of the sweetness with the bitter and I decided to serve it on the rocks after giving it a shake (most of the time Manhattans are served sans ice like martinis).  What's great about this classic cocktail is the variations that are possible, like the dry Manhattan popularized by the Rat Pack which uses dry vermouth, or the Ruby Manhattan which uses port, or even the Metropolitan which uses a 3 to 1 ratio of brandy or cognac to sweet vermouth.  Hopefully everyone's year is starting off with more sweet than bitter. Cheers!

Manhattan Skyline
1 1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
1 oz. Sweet vermouth
Dash of orange bitters

How to: In a cocktail shaker mix ice, Southern Comfort, sweet vermouth and orange bitters. Shake for at least 20 seconds. Serve in a rocks glass with ice.  I didn't garnish mine, but you can garnish with a maraschino cherry or an orange rind.

Happy New Year!! Now I just need to take down my Christmas tree.


  1. Great Post, I love that glittery nail polish you're wearing :)

  2. Thank you!! It's the one I mentioned in this post:

    It's super glittery and fun to wear :)