Chai Infused Manhattan / Weekend Warrior
It’s Friday! Aaaaaaand it’s 38° outside! Welcome to Spring? Let’s warm up with a Chai Infused Manhattan.
Chai Infused Manhattan
Hey, Spring!? Hey, gurrrrl!
We miss you, come home soon m’kay?
I know Spring will happen. It always does. It’s just these last few moments, that big push up and over the hill, that are soooooooo torturous. I see the green things coming out of the ground. They know what’s up. The plants are definitely on board. It’s just a matter of getting the temperature and sun to join in with the rest of the group. Until then….let’s drink, shall we?
Since we aren’t quite there yet, I decided I might as well make something that will still warm the ol’ bones. I infused Rye with a healthy dose of nice, spicy chai tea and then used in it a Manhattan. A classic Manhattan in every other sense besides the chai.
If I’m getting fancy with it, I like Hudson Manhattan Rye from Tuthilltown Spirits. It’s delicious and the bottle makes a killer flower vase (priorities!). If I’m pinching some pennies, it’s Old Overholt all the way! Since I decided to be fancy, I used my Afghani Chai from Bellocq, a beautiful tea atelier in Brooklyn with some absolutely amazing teas. The deep, dark rye is perfect for the Assam black tea and you get a lovely hit of warming spice AND warming booze. Win win!
I used classic Angostura bitters. Remember a couple of years ago when the factory shut down for a bit and it was rumored that it may not re-open? It created that sort of Twinkie effect in the cocktail community. Bartenders across the country hoarding bottles of bitters. If you could find it online or in a grocery store, it was selling for some aaaaaabsolutely ridiculous price. Hey, glad that’s over, huh?
I use Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. If you can find them (here, I found them), buy them. They are pricey, I admit, but if you enjoy a nice cocktail at home, you just have to pay for quality. They ARE the original…..they are NOT those scary, glowing red corn-syrup-drenched things you buy for a buck and some change down at the Piggly Wiggly. They are game-changers.
Stay warm, my friends! Cheers! – HM
1 cup Rye Whiskey
2 tablespoons loose chai tea, or two bags
2 ounces sweet vermouth
4 Maraschino cherries
Combine the rye and chai in a glass jar. Cover and infuse for a minimum of 2 hours or up to 8 hours (can become bitter past 8 hours).
Strain into a large cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add vermouth and shake vigorously. Divide cherries among four glasses. Strain cocktail into glasses and add a couple of dashes of bitters to each.