Moonshine. It's whiskey in its raw form, unaged, pure white lightning in a jar.
The mystique surrounding the rogue spirit is undeniable and with a resurgence of interest and a commercial presence of legal "moonshine" on the market, Moonshine Tavern in Canton has come to capitalize on the theme. With 22 varieties of legal tender moonshine available for consumption and a cocktail list full of the stuff, one entry in particular stands out as an item of interest: the White Manhattan.
Unlike your traditional Manhattan, this version contains High West Silver Oat whiskey, an ingredient of some interest to those of us students of Booze University. High West Silver Oat is distilled in Park City, Utah, and it's the only distillery in the entire state of Utah since pre-prohibition. Interesting. The mash consists of 85 percent oat, 15 percent barley, which in the world of whiskey makes it somewhat unique, more so because of its aging process.
High West Silver Oat is considered a whiskey because it is in fact aged in an oak barrel — for five minutes. Yes, five minutes. Whatever chemical miracles occur in those five minutes of aging impart their flavors and essences into the raw spirit, resulting in a crystal clear "whiskey" with an almost creepy smoothness and no backbite. Combine the Silver Oat with orange bitters, vermouth and Luxardo maraschino liqueur and the result is a crystal clear, somewhat thick in consistency Manhattan which is high octane, low resistance. And the finale: a moonshine-soaked (100 proof) maraschino cherry. That's a lot of shine.
As Ryan Stavarski, bar manager describes it, "The White Manhattan is a pretty drink. Very simple to make but a good twist on a classic." So whether you're a curious drinker or just want a little something different to wet your lips, Give the White Manhattan a whirl. This lesson in alcohol intrigue brought to you by Booze University, an unaccredited scholastic establishment.
How to make the White Manhattan
2 oz. High West Silver Oat whiskey
1 oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth
1/2 oz. Luxardo maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Regan orange bitters
Moonshine-soaked cherry for garnish
Fill glass with ice to chill, combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice and mix. Dispose of ice in glass, strain cocktail into glass. Garnish with moonshine soaked maraschino.
Where to get the White Manhattan
2300 Boston St., Canton
$10Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun