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Cocktail Class: Simon Moorby makes a Manhattan

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 6, 2017, 4:04 p.m.

A classic Manhattan cocktail, made by Simon Moorby, bartender at Hogwash Whiskey Den. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
A classic Manhattan cocktail, made by Simon Moorby, bartender at Hogwash Whiskey Den. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Doesn’t matter if you say, “Pretty please.”

Simon Moorby won’t put a cherry on top, not even a Luxardo Maraschino cherry.

He’ll garnish your Manhattan with an orange twist – not an orange wedge. Don’t expect to see any muddled fruit in the glass, either.

“It’s like an appetizer with your aperitif,” Moorby said. “If you want a snack, I’ll go to the kitchen and get you something.”

The Manhattan, he said, is a “quick and easy” classic whiskey-based cocktail. “I don’t know why people tend to mess with it.”

There are lots of variations of the Manhattan, which is believed to date back to the 1870s on the island for which its named. Adaptations include using Peychaud’s bitters, house-made bitters and syrups, lemon peel, Maraschino liqueur or cherry juice, dry vermouth, brandy, Scotch or other spirits or liqueurs.

Traditionalists insist on rye whiskey and stirring, not shaking. Moorby, who manages Hogwash Whiskey Den in downtown Spokane, is one of them.

“This is one of those must-haves for any bartender,” he said.

His version uses both orange and Angostura bitters to balance and bring out the flavors of the cocktail, which is a rich, reddish orange in color – even without the cherry juice or liqueur.

“It’s a pretty drink,” Moorby said, noting, “I only use cherries for cocktails containing (Luxardo) Maraschino liqueur or other cherry spirit.”

Manhattan

From Simon Moorby of Hogwash Whiskey Den in Spokane

2 ounces Old Overholt (or other rye whiskey)

1 ounce Dolin Rouge (or other sweet vermouth)

2 dashes orange bitters

1 dash Angostura bitters

Orange twist, for garnish

In a mixing glass filled with ice, stir together all liquid ingredients, then strain into a coupe and garnish with the orange twist.

Note: Moorby likes to express the oils from the orange peel over the drink and rubbing the zest along the rim of the glass to bring a hint of “acidity and freshness to it.”