Sorry. Let’s back up: Beppi Crosariol is a columnist for the Globe and Mail who covers wine, cocktails and fine dining. I’ve watched some of his videos and he’s mixed up some interesting drinks. And when his clip from January 04 promised to show how to mix the perfect Manhattan, I was intrigued.
The Manhattan is my favourite cocktail.
So I watched. It started out fine. Two parts good Canadian whisky. One part sweet Italian vermouth. A couple dashes of Angostura bitters. My only quibbles to this point were the Lilliputian size of his shaker and his ham-fisted method of stirring.
Next came the garnish and this was followed by the fucking atrocity you can see in the screen cap above.
What the fuck, Beppi? I’m sorry. Allow me to rephrase: What. The. Fuck?!? Pouring maraschino cherry juice directly into a Manhattan? Have you gone lunatic?
For the record, it is a fucking tragedy that we have to sully our Manhattans with the processed globes of faux-fruit that pass for maraschino cherries these days. Unfortunately, finding a substitute can be a problem.
Maraschino cherries, upon a time, began life as actual marasca cherries — a type of sour cherry that originated in Croatia. These were then preserved in maraschino liqueur, which was itself made from marasca cherries.
Later — and some say this happened during Prohibition, others say earlier — people tried to find an alcohol free version of the maraschino cherry. The formula they eventually hit upon was to first brine reject cherries of any old variety and then, because the brine leached the colour and flavour out of the fruit, you’d soak them in a mixture of food colouring, simple syrup and a little essence of almond.
So you can see how the maraschino cherries we have available to us today are just manufactured, fradulent, former fruits. Compounding the injustice that we must settle for such counterfeit garnish by drizzling an extra dram of that Jezebel juice into a cocktail is naked perversion. Pure and simple.
Beppi. I am so very disappointed.