When I was growing up there was a cabinet in the kitchen that was off limits to my brother and me, it’s where my parents stashed their liquor bottles, my dad’s good candy, and other things they were restricting our access to. I remember not being tall enough to see all of the cabinet's contents that sat directly above the kitchen sink but do recall the semi-sweet and alluringly musty smell and the sound of glass clinking whenever it was opened.
With my Original Woodford Reserve Manhattan I worked to recreate the flavors, smells, and mystifying aura that came out of that cabinet. The Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon’s nose of caramel, chocolate, and toffee remind me of the sweets that were being kept up there and just out of my reach. Dolin Blanc offers a grassy smooth characteristic which emphasizes bourbons honeyed fruit and nut flavors reminiscent of the smell of a syrupy wine spill mixing with aging wood in the back corner. Barolo Chinato’s deep spice and earthy notes intensifies the oak, hazelnut, and almond flavors that have been imparted during the bourbons second barreling, adding depth and mystery to the drink. Teapot Bitters help bring all the components together. The drink is stirred and served up in a classic Nick and Nora, a nod to the idea that my parents aren’t the most concerning drinkers, the oil of lemon peel expressed across the top and discard. Finally, an ignited spritz of herbaceous Green Chartreuse to help open the citrus oil and toffee and chocolate notes of the Woodford Reserve Double Oak to remind you that you don’t always know what is happening behind the behind closed doors.