Inspired by the flavors in a traditional IPA (bright, bitter, citrusy hops, sweetness from the malt, and a just baked bread quality from the yeast), I asked the head bartender at Charcoal in Chicago to mix me up a liquor only version. He told me what he put in it, and I tinkered with it myself at home. The result is a fun twist on a traditional manhattan, adding hopped grapefruit bitters for that authentic IPA flavor. This doesn’t replace a frosty glass of beer, but it’s a delicious take on one of my favorite cocktails.
2 ounces rye whiskey
I used Bulleit
2-3 dashes hopped grapefruit bitters
Bittermens makes one, available here: www.onlybitters.com
1/2 ounces sweet dolan vermouth
1/2 ounces maraschino liquer
1 grapefruit peel
In a large glass, combine the rye, bitters, vermouth, and maraschino. Add a handful of ice and stir for 15 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass. Peel the grapefruit then light it on fire. Twist the peel over the drink and pop into the glass.