[:en]If you were Winston Churchill, in addition to being one of the most important political figures of the last century, you would probably also have some extraordinary ancestors. Not that you can't have them anyway even if you're not Winston Churchill, but if it's true that genetics count for something, it's not surprising that the great statesman's mother was actually a woman of great character known, among other things, for her knowledge of spirits and of the liqueurs that he used to mix to invent new recipes with which to amaze and entertain his guests.
Why this preamble? Because, according to legend, Lady Randolph, Churchill's mother, seems to have also given birth to one of the most famous and drunk cocktails of all time: the Manhattan. Its invention dates back to 1874 in a New York club known as the Manhattan Club, during a banquet held in honor of presidential candidate Samuel Tilden.
In reality it seems that the invention is not to be attributed to Lady Randolph, aka Jenny Jerome, but to Iain Marshall, who she had commissioned to take care of the aforementioned banquet in every detail. The success of the cocktail was crazy, and the rest is history. “History” in another sense actually seems to also be the one we have just told you, not only because there were already several cocktails known as Manhattan in circulation at that time, but also because in that period Lady Randolph was overseas , to be precise in France, which in fact would have prevented her from taking part in the banquet as the nebulous sources say.
Perfect both as a pre- and after-dinner, the Manhattan is an official IBA cocktail and was included by David Embury in the list of six fundamental cocktails in the book The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks in 1948.
Here's how to prepare a perfect Manhattan:
5cl of rye whisky
2 cl Red Vermouth
1 drop of Angostura Bitter
Pour all the ingredients into the mixing glass with ice cubes.
Pour into chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a cocktail cherry.