If you fancy a cocktail with a strong bitter punch, meet the famed Sherman cocktail that is sure to please your palate. A staple at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City during the 1930’s, Sherman is a twist on the classic Manhattan with the addition of absinthe and two types of bitters – angostura and orange.
The spicy and dry tone of rye whisky ties exquisitely well with the bitter sweet texture of the rest of the concoction. The first known recipe book, “Old Waldorf Bar Days” by Albert Crockett, compiled for those seeking to serve sophisticated beverages features the Sherman recipe among a collection of 350 odd cocktail recipes.
The debated ingredient absinthe, often referred to as La Fee Verte (The Green Fairy) in historical literature, is infamous for inducing hallucinations and fueling creativity.
While traditionalists condemned the drink and its alleged degenerative aspects and psychoactive properties, artists like Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Verlaine have hinged on this high-proof spirit for artistic stimulus.
Make your own Sherman cocktail
To fix yourself a glass of this ol’ pot-valiant you will need 60 ml of rye whiskey, 30 ml of sweet vermouth, 1/2 teaspoon absinthe, 1/8 teaspoon Angostura bitters, 1/8 teaspoon orange bitters.
Place ice in a cocktail pitcher or shaker. Pour in whiskey, sweet vermouth, and absinthe. Add Angostura and orange bitters. Shake well and strain the cocktail into a rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon. Sit back and enjoy.
While in Tokyo a couple of years ago, I walked into Bar Helissio for an afternoon tipple.
When the Austrian maestro, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composed a comic opera by the name of The Marriage of Figaro in 1786, he took inspiration from Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais’s 1784 play of the same name. Little did he know that it’d find a namesake in a suave whisky cocktail.