Playing favourites

October 21st, 2008

When people first learn I have a passion for mixology they often ask me what my favourite cocktail is, a question I’m never quite sure how to answer. Like films, music or floral-print shirts, there are so many variables that factor in to what my favourite is at any given time I can only ever offer up a list of several, and even that changes on a regular basis. A single favourite cocktail? I’m far too indecisive for that.

Right now the colder autumn nights are creeping in, I’m fighting a loosing battle against a serious case of man flu, and I’m getting itchy feet after my summer galavanting around America and Europe. Tonight I’m in definite need of a warm, cozy drink to brush away these autumn blues and wrap its comforting arms around me, and thankfully I came across just the trick last month whilst at BCB.

Guyana Manhattan

Guyana Manhattan

View in: oz | ml | shots

Created by Bastian Heuser, Traveling Mixologist and writer for Mixology Magazine, the Guyana Manhattan is a fairly simple twist on the classic drink, replacing rye whisky with a fine Demerara rum from Guyana. The result is a wonderful mix of deep aromatics and rich sweetness, held together precisely by a mixture of bitters and tempered perfectly with the brightness of the orange zest.

It is at once a familiar Manhattan and a new, unexplored drink. Simple to make, amazing to drink, tonight I think this might be my favourite cocktail. Tomorrow though? Who knows…

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Posted in Aromatic Bitters, Recipes, Rum, Vermouth

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12 responses to “Playing favourites”

  1. Rick Rick says:


    This immediately piqued my interest when you mentioned it in the Mixoloseum chat room. I ended up using El Dorado 15, only Angostura bitters, and a lemon twist as the only changes.

    I am really floored. How did I miss this variation on the Manhattan for so long? It is a wonder in both aroma, mouthfeel, and luscious taste.


  2. Joerg Meyer Joerg Meyer says:

    Great Drink by a great Bartender. It “on” the Menu of LE LION – Bar de Paris, from the very first day … and it is one of our best selling drinks….


  3. Gonçalo Gonçalo says:

    … not the only fortunate pearl hovering from Bastian’s skill …

  4. Seamus Seamus says:

    I got into rum Manhattans myself a few months back.

    I was using the Havana Club 7 YO. It ends up on the smooth side though. Demerara sounds perfect.

    There was a cool video online of an old Cuban bartender doing one with Havana Club. I would like to post the link but I can’t find it now. He was such a miser with the ice though.

  5. Paul Paul says:

    Like Seamus, I had been using Havana Club in my rum Manhattans, came away pleased but not overwhelmed, and promptly forgot about the matter. This sounds incredible with the El Dorado, though; I know what I’m mixing tonight. Thanks for passing it along.

  6. Scomorokh Scomorokh says:

    El Dorado 12, 15 and 21 y.o. is great spirits! Actually El Dorado 15 y.o. has some smoky-notes in taste. (Guyana Rob Roy :) ) What why I like to use this rum in similar cocktail named Cuban Manhattan, but you name is perfect!

  7. Bastian Bastian says:

    Thanks for the kind words, just doing my job…

  8. tiare tiare says:

    As a true El Dorado geek i must try this one asap!

  9. Jay Jay says:

    Rick – Glad you enjoyed it. It really is lovely isn’t it.

    Tiare, Paul – Do let us know how you get on with it.

    Jörg – Glad it’s doing as well as it deserves to.

    Bastian – And what a great job you’re doing!

  10. Richard Richard says:

    Hi Jay.

    I’m a new reader to your blog, but I’ve been making cocktails for pleasure for a few years. Great blog! What I’d like to ask is where you have got hold of some of your small cocktail glasses, like the one above. Are they antiques or new? If new, can you tell me where I might find something similar?


  11. Jay Jay says:

    Richard – Thanks! The glasses I’ve been using lately are antiques I picked up on eBay. You can find some going pretty cheap if you look around.

  12. The Jasmine and El Jazmín « liquor is quicker says:

    [...] (read: usually expensive) for mixing, unless you want a fantastic Manhattan variation.  And you can never have too many of those.  But everyone these days is all up on the tequila-for-gin [...]

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