#cocktailoftheweekend the ‘Cabernet Manhattan’ plus bonus Bitters recipe

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The #cocktailoftheweekend is a cocktail made with wine, Cabernet Sauvignon in this instance, in honor of Winc Wine Week that continues here on the EdgehillHerbFarm.blog

I found the recipe on supercall.com and used it as an excuse to purchase the Italian bitter liqueur (Amaro) called for in the recipe. Something that I’ve been eyeing for a while now called Cynar. I’ve been considering buying a bottle of this artichoke plus twelve other herbs and vegetables based Amaro for so long that it underwent a revamp during that time that made it hard to come by for a bit, but now it is back, and with a higher (double) proof than the original. Since I never owned or tried the original I don’t know if (or how) this affects recipes that called for Cynar at its old proof. I imagine it does. Nonetheless, I love this drink and the Cynar is why! It is delicious. So is the Cabernet. The cabernet I used is one of the wines I got in my Winc Wine delivery called Chommie from South Africa.

2017 Chommie Cabernet Sauvignon

Western Cape, South Africa

This is Winc Wine Week after all, so here is how you can get your hands on a bottle of this delicious Cab to make yourself a Cabernet Manhattan too! Use this link and promo code: edgehill22 to buy 4 bottles of wine for $40.00 and complimentary shipping! You are welcome. (I got the Cynar at Bevmo . . .)

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The supercall.com recipe description says,

. . . a cocktail that screams, “Serve me with cheese!”

So that’s what I did.

At my local specialty market called Frazier Farms, Vista, CA I purchased a delicious “Alp Blossom Cheese” (That’s what the label said. Unfortunately, I know from past experience that artisan cheeses come once and are never to be seen again at Frazier’s, and I am not hopeful I’ll be able to get any more . . .) that was perfect for serving with this drink, both in flavor and good looks. Excellent serving tip supercall.com! Thank you.

Cabernet Manhattan – makes one drink

1 OZ CABERNET SAUVIGNON – I used 2017 Chommie from Winc Wines
1 OZ CYNAR – I used the new 70 proof
1 OZ BOURBON – I used Birddog
2 DASHES PIMENTO BITTERS – I don’t have Pimento Bitters and you probably don’t either so I used my homemade Lemon Bitters but you can just use Angostura. 
  • Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir.
  • Strain into a chilled coupe.

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Karen’s Easy Lemon Bitters

1 – lemon, washed and zested with a vegetable peeler, pulp reserved. (I use a lemon variety called Pink Lemonade Lemon for this. Use an under-ripe lemon, if available, since it will be less sweet and more bitter than a ripe lemon.)

3 – allspice berries, smashed in a mortar with pestle

½ a cinnamon stick, also smashed in a mortar with pestle

2 – fresh or dried bay leaves

Approximately 4 ounces Vodka, 80 proof is okay, but 100 proof is better. (The difference in proof is that 80 proof has more water. I use Smirnoff 100 proof when I have it. Skyy 80 proof is great too. Commercial bitters are usually around 70 – 90 proof.)

Into a small 4 oz. jar with a lid, put the lemon zest, the cracked allspice berries, smashed cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Squeeze all the juice from the lemon pulp and add the juice to the jar and discard the pulp. Top off with vodka. Put on the lid (I put a circle of waxed paper between the jar and the lid to keep the alcohol from touching metal) and set aside for a few hours and up to one week before using. The younger the batch is the more of these bitters will be needed to flavor a drink and you will always need more of this easy lemon bitters to replace conventional bitters like Angostura or Peychaud’s in recipes so, if your cocktail recipe calls for a couple dashes of commercial bitters, just double or triple that amount when using this homemade version to your own taste.

If desired, after a week or so, strain, (discarding the solids) into a bottle to make measuring in drops and dashes easier. At a liquor store, I purchased a professional bitters bottle made just for dispensing bitters but you can use a bottle with a dropper cap.

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