Stealing Boegiboe’s shtick

I know Slow Tuesday Night is the go-to blog hereabouts for original drink recipes, and I do not presume to be a mixologist of particular novelty most of the time.  (I am not too humble to say that I make classic cocktails pretty damn well, however.)  But the other night I was at the liquor store around the corner from my office for holiday-related reasons, and I spied a bottle of Bully Boy Distillers white whiskey.  And it gave me an idea for something else I’ve had sitting around the house that I haven’t known what to do with.

Thus, I give you the Stained Glass Manhattan

1)  Fill shaker about 2/3 of the way up with crushed ice

2)  Add several dashes of bitters.  (I am partial to Peychaud’s, which is what I had on hand.  The color and flavor of the drink will obviously vary if you use Angostura or some other.)

(Here’s where things get a bit inexact, since I’m not one for measuring precisely.  Since this is basically just a modified manhattan recipe, just use the amounts you would use if you were making one of them.)

3)  Roughly 2 parts (or, in my house, Liberal Pour) Dolin Blanc vermouth

4)  Roughly 4 parts (Very Liberal Pour) Bully Boy white whiskey (I imagine it would work nicely with other similar spirits, but this is my first experience therewith)

5)  Shake well and pour into chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with cherry.  (Serves two.)

The end result is a very light, smooth drink.  It lacks the punch of a traditional manhattan, and the flavor is much subtler.  The whiskey has some very discernible grain notes, which some people may like and others may find less enjoyable.  I’d recommended it as an alternative to a cosmopolitan for more adventurous tipplers, particularly those who don’t mind a drink that doesn’t hide that it’s made from alcohol.

Anyhow, consider this a cocktail (or any other leisure subject) open thread.


Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. I’m very much a neophyte when it comes to Vermouth, at least as far as the light varieties go. The martini I’m drinking right now* is made with Martini & Rossi Extra Dry, which I am given to understand is not exactly the best**. What’s the difference between an “Extra Dry” and a “Blanc”?

    *Yes, at 7AM local time. In my defense, I just worked a graveyard shift.

    **The dry, anyway. I’m more familiar with sweet vermouth, and Martini Rosso is actually a stand-out choice for Manhattans.

    • Dolin has pretty much ruined me for other vermouths in general, though my father bought a fancy one for us on his last trip that seems too good to mix into anything and which we haven’t opened yet. (I’m not at home, or I’d tell you which one.) The only other dry vermouth I’ll use in my martinis is Noilly Prat.

      The Dolin Blanc is on the sweet side. I haven’t mixed it with gin, but maybe that will be tonight’s experiment.

      • Yeah, some of the smaller-batch ones are pretty interesting, if you can find them (tons in Oregon). But when it comes to “off-the-shelf”, Dolin is so much better than virtually everything else that there’s no real point in not using it.

        To address the other question, Dolin Blanc is an unaged sweet vermouth. It’s sweet, but it’s lighter and more aromatic than what you typically think of as sweet vermouth (those spicy red ones).

      • “…that seems too good to mix into anything…”

        Does this mean you drink vermouth straight?

          • I don’t. I don’t know that I’ve ever used vermouth in something. I know I’ve had drinks made with it, but I’ve never bought a bottle or poured it myself so I don’t really know much of it. It was always my understanding that it was simply something you cut into other things, not something you drink straight. But I’m happy to be wrong.

          • Well, the general “you” drinks sherry and port straight, right? 🙂

            Vermouth is fortified wine, so it’s also quaffable. Although, just as you wouldn’t drink cooking sherry straight, you probably shouldn’t drink Martini and Rossi the same way. Dolin, on the other hand…

            One nice way to start is to do a Reverse Manhattan. The classic proportions are roughly 2-1 whisky to vermouth. Get some Dolin Rouge or Carpano Antica and do a 2-1 vermouth to whisky. It’s delicious and you can drink a lot more of it before your liver gives out.

          • Also, I harp on this ALL THE TIME, but do NOT keep it in the cupboard. Once opened, it goes in the fridge, and it should be consumed within like a month. Vermouth is not 80 proof; it goes bad fairly rapidly.

            (Dolin makes half bottles, in case you needed another excuse to follow the madding crowd.)

          • Thanks. I do remember reading here about the shelf life of vermouth, something I passed on to a friend who noted that her bottle of vermouth hadn’t been used since she moved…14 months earlier.

        • One of my favorite restaurants in Portland (ostensibly the fanciest) has Dolin on its drink menu as a stand-alone aperitif. And some vermouth (like the very nice bottle my father bought me) is quite obviously meant to be enjoyed on its own.

          And yes, we always been our vermouth in the fridge. Part of why we haven’t opened that nice one is that there are already three different vermouths in there, and we don’t have space for yet one more.

          • One of my favorite restaurants in Portland


            Fore St.? Hugo’s? Walter’s? (Struggling to think of fancy + Portland; where there are no dress codes.)

            Inquiring minds want to dine.

          • Hugo’s. (I also love Fore Street, though it’s been a while since we last went. Used to love Walter’s, too, but haven’t been since they moved to their new location.)

            Yeah, “Maine fancy” ≠ “New York City fancy.” I was referring more to the quality of food and dining experience (superlative, in both cases) rather than the snootiness.

          • There’s a place on Munjoy hill; I think it’s Lulu’s, but doesn’t feel quite the right name, nevertheless, it’s near the top of the hill, court-house side of the hill and the street, does a full 5-course menu. Excellent, though it takes some time.

            Walter’s new location is, if you can believe it, even louder then the old. Otherwise, similar; good waitstaff, same delicious food.

            We’d heard many good things about 555, but not enjoyed the experience, loud, bad air, and too long a sit for the full meal. The food was excellent, but the environment enough of a migraine-inducing disturbance to discourage a repeat visit. And snootiness is served in large portions here.

            I really like Local 188, though it’s a bit uneven because the chef is adventurous; when it’s good, it’s great. And Ciaola’s (on Pine St.,) is always amazing; reservations recommended; small place, big demand.

          • Well, since we’re discussing restaurants, I have to give a shout-out to our favorite place in Portsmouth, NH. We love, love, love The Black Trumpet. Love it. (It helps that the chef/owner is a friend.) If you find yourself in the Portsmouth/Kittery region, I’d highly recommend it.

            The food at Walter’s was obviously our big draw in going there, and it was one of our favorites. But I also just loved their old location, cramped as it may have been. There was a table underneath the stairs leading to the second floor that I really liked. It was right by the open kitchen, and it felt so intimate and cozy to be tucked there with dining companions. I dunno… I feel like the new space (which we’ve seen through the window) will lack something that I really enjoyed about the old location.

            We haven’t made it to 555. We’ve heard good things, but it looks like your experience didn’t match them.

            We’ve eaten at Local 188 a few times, and every time we’ve really liked it.

            I also love Street & Co., Fore Street’s smaller sister restaurant. (It’s been ages since we’ve eaten at any of these places, so I hope it’s still there.) Their sole francaise is one of the yummiest things I’ve ever eaten, though I have to admit sometimes the food is a little bit inconsistent.

          • Thank you for the Black Trumpet recommendation. Will be there Wednesday with older child, so maybe we’ll check it out.

            And yes, I miss that table under the stairs, too. I alway sat so I could watch the activity in the kitchen.

            And on 555 — I suspect they might have been having trouble with the ventilation system the night we were there; it was very smokey. I’ve had friends say it’s better to eat in the bar. (My favorite place to eat at Fore St., too.) Street & Co. is still open, but, alas, I cannot eat there; I’ve a fish allergy.

            And I forgot Duck Fat, best place for lunch if you’re looking to eat around 3:00 in the afternoon.

          • If you end up going, I hope you like The Black Trumpet. We’ve never had anything other than a wonderful meal there.

            We’ve been to Duck Fat (the scrappy downmarket cousin to Hugo’s) once, and thought it was divine.

            Bummer about the fish allergy, which obviously rules out a seafood restaurant.

  2. You could mix Dolin Blanc with gasoline and get an above average cocktail.

    Still, I have a couple white whiskeys that I never know what to do with. This deserves a try.

    • If the above is any indication, the character of the white whiskey will really come through. And I think it marries well with the subtle sweetness of the vermouth.

      That said, I’ve tried using Dolin Blanc with bourbon for a somewhat more traditional manhattan , and find the vermouth is too subtle and gets overpowered.

  3. Just googled white whisky, which sounds strangely similar to new make spirit. Doesn’t it have to be aged three years before you can call it whisky? Those are the Scottish rules, at least.
    BTW, I’ve been into mezcal recently, I’ll have to share some soonish

  4. That drink is highly intriguing. The color is lovely, and the ingredients are exotic. Also, unfortunately, not apparently available near me. Tonight, based on your descriptions of the white whiskey and the Dolin Blanc, I shall substitute Lillet for the Dolin Blanc and cachaca for the moonshine and see what I get. I like the “lots of crushed ice” idea, and I’ll probably use that in the future. The effect, compared to shaking with whole cubes, would be the addition of plenty of ice cold water without the super-chilling that the breaking of ice cubes in liquor causes.

    I have totally abandoned my responsibilities over at Slow Tuesday Night. The reason for this appears to be that my desire for discussion (read: attention) is the only thing that made me want to start blogging back in March, and a monthly cocktail as the only blog input doesn’t get enough regular readers to float my boat.

    I have, however, continued to make up cocktails, and I promise to post August’s through December’s recipes on the main page before the New Year.

    • Goodie, goodie gumdrops!

      My rule of thumb re: crushed vs whole ice is: whole cubes for drinks with non-alcoholic ingredients (eg. lime juice and simple syrup for gimlets), crushed ice for entirely alcoholic drinks (eg. martinis, manhattans, etc).

      • That seems like a serviceable rule. My experience with crushed ice was mostly in drinks where the crushed ice and the change over time you get from it melting is inherently part of the experience of the drink, such as margaritas or mint juleps. For the classic martini and its relatives, I like the colder-than-ice effect you can get from shaking whole cubes hard enough to crack them. But your recipe appears designed to bring out subtle flavors that might not be detected if the liquid is too cold, so the crushed ice works better there.

        Speaking of bringing out subtle flavors, I recently declared a new house vodka: Tito’s. I mixed up a vodka martini (Noilly Prat), tasted it, and then excitedly ran it upstairs to Jason. I presented it with a breathy “Taste this!” worthy of a new concoction. He did so, and said “What is that flavor?” at first, thinking I’d added something unusual. But then he realized it was the distinguishable flavors of the vermouth, heightened by the increase in alcohol content rather than drowned by residual vodka flavors. It’s the Wonderbra of vodkas.

        • I’ve been seeing Tito’s in more and more places. I’ll have to check it out.

          I’m tickled at your describing it as the “Wonderbra of vodkas”. I am now determined to figure out what would qualify as the “sock-stuffed-down-the-pants” of bourbon.

          • Tito’s was definitely a pleasant surprise the first time we tried it a few years back. The friend who brought it to the party is kind of a nut (red flag #1), had purchased it on the way, at the liquor store attached to the notoriously, exceedingly sketchy gentleman’s club nearby (red flag #2), and it is a vodka made in Texas (red flag #3) named Tito’s (red flag #4).

            Many jokes were cracked before the first taste. But it is good stuff.

          • Kazzy, If my understanding of analogies is correct, the “sock-stuffed-down-the-pants” of bourboun is black tea on the rocks.

          • Alan,
            By “Wonderbra of vodkas” I meant that it “lifts and separates” the flavors it’s mixed with.

            Which means the “sock stuffed down the pants” of bourbon would be…Everclear.

      • What if you’re just going liquor over rocks? Cubes, right? To that end, my friend was trying to sell me on whiskey stones. They seemed too convoluted for me, both because of their Stone Age technology and the need to separately add a splash of water to heartier drinks.

        Also, unrelated, but I’ve often noticed that BT posts lack a “click more to continue reading” or other such link to carry through the jump. I usually have to click on the post’s title. Is this deliberate? If it wasn’t, consider this your fair warning…

        • 1) If I’m drinking something on the rocks, it’s always whole cubes. Crushed ice melts too fast.

          2) I actually have little to do with how BT is formatted. Hopefully someone with actual formatting powers will note your beef.

        • You’ll have a hard time convincing me that the flavor of the “rocks” affect the drink much less than the flavor of an actual rock might. I’ll stick with my Ice cubes, thank you.

        • RE: whiskey stones

          In addition to the drawbacks noted by others (lack of water splash, not cold enough, flavor concerns) I would like to point out that becoming rather intoxicated while drinking whiskey is a very real possibility (in fact, sometimes it is the goal).

          At which point, your drunk ass faces the very real possibility of forgetfully tipping back the glass and causing ACTUAL REAL ROCKS TO CRASH INTO YR TEETH.

          This did not happen to me the time I used them.

          But the fear of this scenario put a real damper on my tippling enjoyment.

          • Stupien? Methinks you’ve been tippling yrself.

            Can’t speak for anyone else, but I have a fair collection of whiskies so space is an issue, for one.

            Plus Sam Spade woulda just looked ridiculous, retrieving the bottle from a mini-fridge rather than desk drawer.

    • Last night Jason brought home some white whisky, so I did SCIENCE. I duplicated your recipe using more precise measurements for two drinks: One used Angostura bitters (we’ve run out of Peychaud’s 🙁 ), Lillet (since we can’t find Dolan Blanc, and a high quality cachaca shaken together on crushed ice; and the other was identical except the cachaca was replaced with white whisky.

      Results: The white whisky was totally worth using. The version with cachaca was nice but boring; the version with white whisky scintillated, evoking the sparkling of light through stained glass. Thanks for the experience! Now I just have to find that Dolan Blanc…

      • Oh, hurrah. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. (I will admit to some trepidation when I posted this, as I feared people would try it and think it sucks.)

        Good luck finding the Dolin Blanc. If there’s one wet bar in the world where it belongs, it would be yours. (And thanks to you, we always have St. Germaine on hand.)

      • This makes me think I need an excuse to get you guys back to my place. Dolin is readily available in my neck of the woods.

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