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Our Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience: Part 1

Now that judgement has been passed and the finalists chosen for the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience we can share our recipes with you! Neither of us were chosen this year but in the grand scheme of things, we're ultimately too busy to commit to something like that so fully anyways!

For those of you that have never heard of the Manhattan Experience, its basically a competition, where bartenders submit two recipes for, one is their recipe (every bartender's recipes are a little different!) for a manhattan, using either Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon, Woodford Reserve Bourbon or Woodford Reserve Rye. Then your second recipe is for a reimagining of the classic manhattan recipe, a chance to make it your own!

Leanne won the first round in 2019 and went on to compete in Kentucky! Her cocktail was absolutely delicious and she still makes it for us while we have brainstorming and strategy meetings. It's seriously like drinking a chocolatey dessert, yum!

We'll start with Liz's Manhattan recipe. She likes to keep her classic recipes as close to their conceptual debut. Think Prohibition era drinking. The recipe is as follows...


Liz's Manhattan

In a mixing glass, pour:

  • 1-2 barspoons of luxardo cherry juice

  • 3-4 dashes of Angostura Bitters

  • 1 oz of Carpano Antico Sweet Vermouth

  • 2 oz of Woodford Reserve Bourbon or Rye

Fill your mixing glass with ice, stir for 25 rotations, strain with julep strainer into a chilled coupe glass, garnish with one or two luxardo cherries, enjoy!

Pretty simple as far as Manhattan recipes go. Liz likes to use the cherry juice instead of cherry bitters as it has a more rich and unique flavor.

And now for Liz's original cocktail recipe! She combined her love for dessert cocktails, mint chocolate chip, and smudging anything that comes in contact with her! When we say smudging we mean cleansing with smoking dried white sage. Liz keeps sage around at all time, including behind the bar. You never know when you might have to ward off some bad energy! She calls her cocktail:


No Bad Spirits Here!

In a mixing glass, pour:

  • 3 dashes of Aztec Chocolate Bitters

  • 1/2 oz Branca Menta

  • 1 oz La Quintinye Sweet Vermouth

  • 2 oz Woodford Reserve Rye

Fill your mixing glass to the top with ice, stir for 35 revolutions, strain with a julep strainer over a large rock in a rocks glass. Now comes the fun part, I used a simple glass cake stand with a dome as a smoking chamber, but if you want a quality smoker for your cocktails or just to wow your guests at your next party, pick up Crafthouse by Fortessa Cocktail Smoking Box! Its sleek and easy to use and sure to be a hit at your next get together! That being said, just torch some sage that you can pick up at your local wiccan or hippie shop for under $10 usually, or order some here, Place your now smoking sage and your cocktail under the dome and let smoke for 10-15 seconds. Remove the dome in a circular motion around the cocktail, allowing the smoke to swirl around the glass. Garninsh with a Luxardo cherry and enjoy!

Lots of cool trick with this one, but its sure to please a crowd and get your spiritual fix for the night! Sage is very important to Leanne & Liz, and many of you will soon see why, keep checking back to see all the cool things we're going to be doing the next few months! Cheers!

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