Before the pandemic I noticed more patrons of some of my favorite New Jersey restaurants were drinking classic cocktails like Martinis, Manhattans and Old Fashions. Maybe it's the liquor companies that are pushing this, but they hooked me.

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My good friend Denis Gallagher turned me on the Crown Royal Manhattans when we were at one of his favorite steakhouses and now one of my favorites Halls Chophouse located in Charleston, South Carolina. Denis ordered his classic Crown Royal Manhattan and I jumped on the opportunity to have one. What a great treat. I really enjoyed it.

The cherries were perfect . Turns out they were Luxardo Italian maraschino cherries , which I like three of them in my cocktail. The smoothness of the Crown Royal with the addition of the bitters, the sweetness of the Vermouth, and the cherries make it a terrific cocktail before you enjoy a great dinner. It wakes up the taste buds.

My friend , Hall of fame bartender, Tom Young, gave me a great suggestion to make my Manhattan experience more enjoyable. He suggested I get a crystal glass shaker that is kept in the freezer with a martini glass that will be used to make the Manhattan cocktail. The thick crystal glass will hold the cold and make any Manhattan cocktail just as chilled as your first drink.

Bring back the classic Manhattan to your pre-dinner repertoire. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do. Thanks Denis and Tom for making it a perfect Manhattan .

How do I make a great Manhattan cocktail ?

1 1/2 an ounce of Crown Royal whiskey

1/2 an ounce of Sweet Vermouth

3 dashes of Aromatic Bitters

1 drop of Cherry juice

Shake all the ingredients together

Serve in a chilled glass

Add 3 Luxardo Cherries into glass

Put your whiskey into your chilled cocktail shaker. Add the Vermouth, Bitters, cherry juice. Shake until it's as cold as you can get it. Strain into a chilled glass. Add your three Luxardo cherries into a glass and enjoy!

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