The Plaza was quieting down just after the holiday lighting festivities and a warm cocktail beckoned.
It was bartender Trevor Bach at the Plaza Bistro who greeted me upon arrival, out of the chill, with this bourbon-based, smoke infused twist on a Manhattan that is sure to warm your belly.
Note: this cocktail requires fire – a handheld torch (like you’d use to give that burnt touch to the top of the marshmallows on grandma’s sweet potatoes), a lighter, and an oak plank (think an old piece of barrel or planks used for grilling).
Here’s what you will need to create Bach’s Oak-Fired Manhattan
Handheld torch (as used for creme brulee)
1 1/2 oz. Templeton Rye Whiskey
3 dashes of orange bitters
1 oz. Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz. Morello Cherry Juice
Morello cherries for garnish
Prepare a pint glass half full of ice
Pour Templeton, sweet vermouth, orange bitters and cherry juice into pint glass
Prepare the oak by searing a spot on the wood with a handheld torch until glowing, takes about 5 seconds
After searing, immediately place martini glass over the area you just sweared, upside down.
Allow smoke to fill the glass, holding the glass in place for 10 seconds
Strain the pint glass contents into the martini glass
Take a quarter-sized round of orange zest and pinch between your index and thumb (providing light tension)
Take a lighter and ignite the front of the zest squeezing the zest over the flame
Garnish with the zest and two cherries on a plastic toothpick. Enjoy!
Please use caution while preparing this recipe. Or best, just go order it at the Plaza Bistro, 420 1st St. E., Sonoma, 996-4466.