Smoked Christmas Manhattan
Festive and fun is what comes to mind when describing this Smoked Christmas Manhattan. A classic cocktail with a seasonal twist by adding orange juice, orange bitters, a sprig of rosemary (a mini Christmas tree!) all finished with a dramatic smoke show!
The classic Manhattan just happens to be my favorite cocktail and I’ve been experimenting with how to make it just that little bit different. I settled on adding fresh orange to embrace winter citrus season and smoking it.
It’s been a while since I posted a cocktail recipe. If my memory serves me, the last one was a classic Pimm’s for the summer . Come to think of it, I also have a delicious Winter Pimm’s that is served warm.
A classic Manhattan martini is 2 parts rye whiskey, to 1 part sweet vermouth, a dash of bitters and a cherry. Some like a maraschino cherry, I prefer to upgrade to the elegance of a Luxardo cherry – this is the sweet, dark real Italian cherry that you’ll see in Manhattans at upscale bars and restaurants.
Luxardo cherries over maraschino because there are hints of chocolate, orange and vanilla which perfectly complement the flavor of the drink itself.
A year-round cocktail
Not limited to just Christmas, you can enjoy this Manhattan all holiday season. Want a fabulous New Years Eve cocktail? You’ve found it! In fact, what would stop you from making it and drinking it any time of the year?
Christmas cocktails can be so festive and are just plain fun. I love to take a classic cocktail, like a Sidecar, and turn it into an Apple Sidecar by adding seasonal flavors like apple and sage. You also must check out my Christmas Cosmopolitan that is made with cranberry. Yum!
When I’m enjoying cocktails with friends or on my own, I like a strong pour, (and who doesn’t?) whether it’s a martini or a drink served over ice. This Smoked Christmas Manhattan makes two 6 ounce drinks that can be served martini-style or over a single large ice cube.
How to smoke a cocktail
There are two ways you can do this, with a ‘topper’ that sits on top of a glass whereby the smoke is infused into the glass and the drink (see image above).
if you don’t have any kind of cocktail smoker you can simply ignite smoking chips on a heatproof surface (I use a plate), then place your glass upside down over the smoke.
The longer you smoke, the smokier the drink. I like 30 seconds to 1 minute for the perfect balance.