Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, then by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about a classic cocktail, the Manhattan.
In the thirty ninth episode of The Simpsons, Bart the Murderer (Season 03, Episode 04), following a horrible day that includes missing the bus, walking in the rain, leaving a permission slip for a field trip to the chocolate factory at home, stuffing hundreds of envelops, and having his skateboard break; Bart ends up at the Legitimate Businessman’s Social Club. There, after making Fat Tony a wonderful Manhattan, he lands a part-time job there.
Marge is suspicious of the people Bart is working for. She feels they may be criminals. When Marge asks Bart what he does, we get another epic quote:
Marge: “You got a job? Doing what?”
Bart: “Uh, I don’t know. Mixing drinks, picking horses, cutting cigars.”
Bart continues to do an excellent job at the club and garners praise from everyone at the Club. He continues to make Manhattan’s and even makes one for Police Chief Wiggum.
Everyone at the Club is happy for Bart to be there and especially enjoy his Manhattans. They enjoy it so much so, that Fat Tony invites the Don to try a Manhattan. But when Principal Skinner keeps Bart after school, the Don is disappointed with the Manhattan Louie makes him. The Don then leaves giving Fat Tony the ‘kiss of death’.
When he shows up late at work and blames Skinner, Fat Tony and company go to confront Skinner. The next day when Bart comes to school, he discovers that Skinner is missing. After an interesting trial for the murder of Skinner, wherein Bart is blamed to be the leader of the mafia, Skinner returns and Bart is set free leaving Fat Tony and the Club.
But have you ever wondered what a Manhattan is?
A Manhattan is a cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters in a 2:1 ratio. While rye is the traditional whiskey of choice, other whiskies commonly used include Canadian whisky, bourbon, blended whiskey, and Tennessee whiskey. The cocktail is typically stirred then strained into a cocktail glass. It is then traditionally garnished with a maraschino cherry.
The following are variations on the classic Manhattan:
Black Manhattan – replaces vermouth with Averna.
Blonde Manhattan – made with 2 oz moonshine, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 0.5 oz orange liqueur, and 3 dashes of orange bitters.
Brandy Manhattan – made with brandy instead of whiskey, and is very popular in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Dry Manhattan – made with dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth, usually also replacing the maraschino cherry with a twist in keeping with the overall principle of reducing the cocktail’s sweetness.
Fanciulli – adds the bitter flavors of Fernet-Branca.
The Fourth Regiment – a classic (ca. 1889) cocktail that uses a 1:1 ratio of whiskey and vermouth, and uses three dashes of three different bitters – orange bitters, celery bitters, and Peychaud’s Bitters.
Metropolitan – similar to a brandy Manhattan, but with a 3: ratio of brandy to vermouth and a dash of simple syrup.
Perfect Manhattan – made with equal parts sweet and dry vermouth.
Rob Roy – made with Scotch whisky.
Now that we’ve learned more about the cocktail Manhattan, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
Have you ever heard of the Manhattan? Did you remember all the scenes featuring the cocktail? Have you ever mixed drinks? Have you ever made a Manhattan? What’s your favourite cocktail? For the teetotals, what’s your favourite mocktail? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.