Manhattan (cocktail) lovers rejoice! And even if it isn’t one of your favorite drinks now, you may reconsider after having the Manhattan trolley, a cocktail experience at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. It was time for the Manhattan, what with exclusive gin bars, tequila and mezcal trolleys, and flaming liqueur presentations tableside. What’s so special? The coveted liquors, the narrative, and the show. It’s an experience.
The Manhattan is a classic cocktail believed to date back to the late 1800s. Traditionally it’s made with a mixture of bourbon or rye whiskey mixed with sweet vermouth and a dash of Angostura bitters. At Eau Palm Beach Manhattans are completely customized so guests can choose among 16 different liquors in tastes ranging from smoky and sweet to hot and peaty. That includes a variation of small batch Rye, Whiskey, Bourbons, and even barrel aged Gin and Tequila.
Then there are the stars among the lot, the hard to find J.Riddle, Johnny Smoking Gun, Catchas Rye from a distillery in Corktown Detroit. Other rare finds in Florida are multiple expressions from High West Distillery (Blended Whiskeys) of Park City, Utah and King’s County Peated Bourbon which is peated using the traditional methods used for Scotch. It is a gold winning bourbon for King’s County Distillery located inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The other special element in their Manhattan is their blend of Angostura bitters, a concentrated bitters based on gentian, herbs and spices made by House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago. Interesting historical note, the bitters were first produced in the town of Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela), Another part of the blend is Peychauds. It was originally created around 1830 by Antoine Amédée Peychaud, a Creole apothecary from the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) who settled in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1795. It is a gentian-based bitters, comparable to Angostura bitters, but with a predominant anise aroma combined with a background of mint.
Once the ingredients are chosen, then comes the show biz part of the mixology, the heart of the cocktail experience — the glass is smoked with wood chips, set on fire. Even the garnish is part of the story. Candied cherries from South Florida’s Filthy Brand Cherries are soaked in bourbon for a week, with the left over syrup used to sweeten the cocktail and add more flavor and complexities.
Ready to have this experience? The Manhattan cart is available in the Champagne Bar at Angle which is open from 5 pm on Fridays and Saturdays only (during the summer months). From 5-7 pm Manhattans are offered at happy hour pricing, for $10 each. After 7 p.m. they’re $24 each. It’s advisable to call and reserve. Call the hotel directly at (561) 533-6000.
Kudos to the concept creators, Tito Rodriguez, Executive Director of Food & Beverage and Bryan Long, Assistant Director of Food and Beverage.
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, 100 S.Ocean Blvd., Manalapan.