The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Drinking and Manhattan (#atozchallenge)










     



English: A Manhattan.
 A Manhattan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'll Take a Manhattan        

       When asked about Manhattan more than a few readers thought along the same lines as Megan Morgan  who replied, "I'm a bartender so the first thing I thought of was the drink."

          Likewise Southpaw HR Sinclair  said, "The first thing I think of is a friend who use to live there. --then I think of the drink though I've never had one."

           I've never had a Manhattan drink either though it's definitely an old school drink that's been around since the 19th century.  A number of origin stories for the drink can be found in various sources making the true origin debatable though most would agree that the drink originated somewhere in Manhattan. 

            Stephen T. McCarthy offered his recipe for a Manhattan:

2 ounces of rye whiskey
1 ounce of vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
1 Cocktail glass, and me

But then added, "And by the way, for the record, the "Manhattan" is not one of my favorite drinks. However, if my choices are "Manhattan" or nothing... I'll take "Manhattan."

       On the other hand Debbie Doglady offered her own Manhattan recipe variation: 

Off the top of my head:
Manhattan is a cocktail comprised of Canadian whiskey, sweet vermouth a dash of Angostura bitters and a maraschino cherry for garnish. I drank many of these in my younger days. It was my favourite. 

       Keep in mind Debbie might have a bit of a prejudice in regard to the liquor involved since she's Canadian.   However, according to Wikipedia during the U.S. Prohibition era of the 1920's Canadian whiskey was most often used since it was more widely available.  So there is some historical context to back up Debbie's recipe.   As far as I'm concerned since my taste in liquors is not very discerning I probably wouldn't know the difference between one whiskey and the other.

       Though I'd certainly be willing to try one, I'm not sure that I'd care much for a Manhattan.  I've never been much of a connoisseur of alcoholic beverages, but I'll drink one if it's set before me.  I rarely order alcoholic beverages when I'm in a restaurant and I haven't been to a bar in ages.  I'm not really much of a drinker.  

        No doubt though that many folks out there enjoy their mixed drinks. Susan Gourley/Kelley told this story:  "... my late mother-in-law always drank a Manhattan right after breakfast and then pretty much sipped on them throughout the day. I don't think I ever saw her when she wasn't a little bit drunk."  Not unusual I'd say.  I've known more than a few people who got through their days subsisting on a steady infusion of a favorite beverage--or whatever substance it took to adjust their mind to face life.


Lost Weekend

        C Lee McKenzie relates the following about the origin of the name "Manhattan":  "It's the history of the name, Manhattan, that comes to mind. I've read that it comes from Algonquian and means either a hilly island or the place of intoxication. I suppose the latter could be interpreted in a positive light. Manhattan is very beautiful, very intoxicating, as cities go."

        Very intoxicating for sure in the metaphorical sense, but considering the number of bars to be found in Manhattan, the city can be a place of literal intoxication as well.  There are many variations on what a bar might be, but if the definition is a place that serves alcohol there most likely are more than 1500 bars according to most of the sources I found.  Bars have dotted the Manhattan cityscape for decades.   It's a big city after all and where there's a lot of people, there will people who like to drink.

The World's Drinks And How To Mix Them
The World's Drinks And How To Mix Them
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
            Frequently, movie and television show scenes of Manhattan will include bar settings.  Usually they are merely settings for meetings and conversations.  There are some scripts that have focused specifically on the drinking culture and alcoholism.  One of the more well known of these films is The Lost Weekend based on the 1944 novel by Charles R. Jackson.  The film which was directed by Billy Wilder and starred Ray Milland and Jane Wyman (Ronald Reagan's first wife) won four Academy Awards in 1946 including Best Picture.  The film was one of the major hits of 1945.

           A few years ago I ran across an interesting photo taken of my father and two of his buddies while on a visit to New York City probably sometime around the end of World War 2.  The photo showed the trio dressed in suits sitting at a table with drinks before them and a placard that said "Lost Weekend".  They appear to be happy, but not drunk.  It was hard to tell what their actual state was  though.  When I was growing up I rarely saw my father drink so I think it was unlikely that he was  on any actual lost weekend bender in that photo, but I'm wondering--and I've been unable to confirm this anywhere--if "Lost Weekend" photos were somewhat popular during that time.   Maybe some of you readers have heard of such photos.

         Have you ever been out drinking in Manhattan?    Did you ever drink a Manhattan or one of its many variations?    What movie bar scenes that take place in Manhattan can you think of?


64 comments:

  1. Interesting post Lee.
    When in Manhatten as I don't drink I didn't go into any bars but as you say there were plenty there.
    Great "D" post.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, I recall seeing bars, but I was mostly in Manhattan in the daytime. I rarely drink alcoholic beverages during the day and if so it might be a beer.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. Very interesting Lee. I have never had a Manhattan but it sounds good. I enjoyed the quotes you used.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gregg, doesn't sound like something I'd crave, but I guess I'd try it at least.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. Like you, Arlee, I'm not much of a drinker and I have never tried a Manhattan. I do remember my grandmother putting a cap full of Scottish Whisky (British spelling) in her morning cup of tea. And my grandfather used to have a sherry drink every day at 11am. It comprised of a Schooner of sweet Sherry with a raw egg in it. He lived until his late 90s so it must not have harmed him much. I think I'll stick with the occasional glass of wine :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicola, I've heard that a wee bit of alcohol can be good for medicinal purposes. Actually sometimes when I've got an upset stomach, a bit of alcohol like brandy or wine can be settling for me. Don't know about the raw egg in sherry, but can't argue with your granddad's long life. Like you I'll stick with the occasional glass of wine.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. I don't really think of Manhattan as a place with ANY hills. Yonkers yes, Manhattan, not so much. My uncle always drank Manhattans but I don't recall my dad or anyone else using the bitters. He let me have a sip once and I thought my throat was going to burn out. I'm not a fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoJo, maybe the area looked hilly before it was urbanized. The drink Manhattan does sound a bit harsh to me though I can drink liquor as long as I have something like water to chase it with.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Interesting and informative post! I've never had a Manhattan but would love to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've sipped cocktails in Manhattan, but never a Manhattan. Too strong for me. I prefer drinks with fruit, and a little paper umbrella is nice, but not necessary. My husband LOVES whiskey though, so I'll give him the recipe. Great post! Happy A2Z.

    Erica
    www.ericageraldmason.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erica, the Manhattan does sound strong to me as well. I'd rather have the more pleasant tasting drinks like you describe. But I have acquired somewhat of a taste for straight whiskey--with a chaser or diluted with ice.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. I've never tried a Manhattan, but it might be something I'd like. Or I'd at least be able to tolerate a sip. LOL

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia, I'll try most anything at least once.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. sounds like a good recipe for a lost weekend..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David, it would at least be a way to start the Lost Weekend. In the movie the guy is drinking straight whiskey--I forget exactly what kind, but it's cheap.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. I've never drank a Manhattan. I don't really drink.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth, I drink on occasion, but I'm not what one would normally call a drinker.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. Such an interesting post. Particularly because I'm very interested in American Prohibition and I've research NYC and its speakeasies quite a bit ;-)

    I'v enoticed that the origin of a lot of cocktails is blurry, especially the older ones. But then, that makes them more intriguing and mysterious.

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah, I'd never thought about cocktail history much before this post other then reading something about Margaritas which I have now forgotten.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. A chose a life of no drinking at a young age. Now 31 I'm quite fine with that decision. Enjoy your Manhattan, I'll have a glass of orange juice.

    Blog: QueendSheena
    2016 A to Z Participant
    Joy Brigade Minion

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheena-kay, wise decision on your part. I'd probably prefer the orange juice to the Manhattan.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. Lee, I was taught drinking was wrong, but like most teenagers I wet my taste buds with the alluring evils. After experimenting a bit, I decided that it wasn't for me. I definitely did not care for the taste or smell. Someone told me drinking is an acquired. If something doesn't hook me straight away, like chocolate then it's not worth my time. lol I have not had Manhattan cocktail or anything similar to it. At the moment, no particular movie bar scenes come to mind, except for a recent movie clip from Casablanca where Ingrid Bergman is setting at the piano. That was a great film! Interesting read for the "D" post. Thanks for hosting all the A2Z fun!

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    All Things Vintage: Dear Diary #AprilA2Z

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, I used to hang out with my friends who were drinking, but I didn't drink with them. It was never a big problem though. I couldn't stand beer at first, but then after drinking it with pizza and Mexican food I acquired the taste for it. Yes, Casablanca had a lot of action that took place in Rick's Bar I guess it was.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. Hello Mr B

    Strangely this came to mind

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7YsE-wQn9c

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. do not know "what" this is, so we will view it, thank you and have a nice Day.

      Delete
    2. We do remember this song.... Thank you, good Sir Rob for the "Smile"... old memories there...

      Delete
    3. Rob, I've always liked that song. Not too strange of an association.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. I get into too much trouble sober to chance drinking! Fun post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, drinking has gotten me in some trouble, but I've never landed in jail over it or had any legal problems. It's usually a matter of my big mouth after it's been oiled a bit.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. Hello good Sir, hope that you are well.
    That is one that we have never drank. We more often drink a bit Beer, all that my limited budget can do. So seldom do much else, and drink much less often these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dr. Theda, I used to always have some beer in the fridge. Not lately. Maybe get some again soon. For me a 12 pack can last a good while as I only drink 2 at the most at one time and that doesn't happen often.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. I've never had a Manhattan. I think I may have tasted one once but I'm not into whiskey at all.

    That's fun that you found that old photo of your Dad. I love finding old photos. Transporting back in time...

    As for Manhattan bars featured in movies or TV shows: Sex and the City. Bars are a big part of that show. Half the time those girls were in bars and they spent much of their time bar-hopping in Manhattan (the other half of their time they spent in coffee shops or meeting for breakfast to share their love-life and relationship dramas).

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michele, I wanted to use the old photo here on this post, but I didn't find it. I think I have it somewhere. I remember the coffee shop that was always on Seinfeld. I don't think they were ever in a bar at least not that I can remember.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. I quite often drink a Rob Roy which is basically a Manhattan made with Scotch Whisky. That is made with 1 oz. Scotch, 2/3 oz Vermouth, a few dashes of Angostura, maraschino cherry and Ice. I am a Scotch drinker when it comes to liquor and I enjoy a Rob Roy now and again. Never been to Manhattan and have no idea about Manhattan scenes in movies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo, never had a Rob Roy either--another old school drink. I used to drink Scotch sometimes but haven't had that in many years.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. I've definitely had drinks in Manhattan, but I've never tried an actual Manhattan. It doesn't sound like something I'd like, actually. I'm more of a fruity rum drink person, myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah, I've always had a preference for the sweeter fruity type drinks though I guess I've been going for the harder stuff in more recent years. I love martinis.

      Lee

      Delete
  19. LEE ~
    Shortly after submitting that comment on your blog bit of a couple months ago, in a neat little casino bar I tried another 'Manhattan', as I'd not had one in ages. (This may have been only the second one I ever had, and still... NO LIKEY!)

    It has a kind of sharp, bitter taste that doesn't appeal to me at all.

    Despite my reputation, there are a lot of drinks I really don't care for. Never liked Scotch or Vodka (except in Bloody Marys) or Peppermint Schnapps. Don't like Absinthe or Ouzo.

    Oddly, although I enjoy fruit juices, I rarely like them in alcoholic drinks. I dig Mojitos and Margaritas (both contain lime juice) but don't like anything with orange juice or grapefruit juice.

    Tomato juice is OK, because without it you have no Bloody Mary and no Bloody Beer (aka Michelada).

    Tequila is nuttin' but Cactus Poison and the ONLY THING it's good for is Margaritas and a trip to Jail.

    Undoubtedly the most memorable drink I ever had in Manhattan was that half-pint of Jack Daniel's whiskey I drank at the base of the Statue Of Liberty in order to capture that infamous picture of me that I use on my blogs.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT:
    Come to think of it... I NEED A COLD MOJITO!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, though I've been wanting to try a Manhattan since my post that first mentioned it, I still haven't. But like you I think I'd rather have a Mojito--those I do like for sure.

      Lee

      Delete
  20. Only the Muppets take Manhatten - I'll take Long Island Ice Tea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dixie, I'll have a Long Island Ice Tea as well. I've never had one, but I hear they are very strong.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. No hard stuff for this kid, but I do enjoy beer;-) My great-grandma did too, and drank that awful smelling Schlitz all day long. She never did seem tipsy...maybe I was too young to realize.
    Movies that come to mind are "You've got Mail", "Coyote Ugly" and "The Devil Wears Prada" but I'm not sure the scenes were actually filmed in Manhattan or just nearby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, Beer when I'm in the mood. No Schlitz though. I want the good stuff. I don't even like beers like Bud. I've had friends who started first thing in the morning and drank throughout the day and seemed to function just fine. I can't do that.

      Lee

      Delete
  22. I never cared for a Manhattan but that is probably because I don`t care for rye. Think it is that this calls for rye whiskey which is by fact a Canadian whiskey, just as one called scotch is only made in Scotland. But I would like to sit in the Algonquin and have a martini with Dorothy Parker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan, I probably wouldn't care much for rye, but I have no idea since I'm not much of an expert on liquors. I could go for the Algonquin idea!

      Lee

      Delete
    2. I'm answering here, Arlee because there is no op down at the bottom to do that in.

      I also thought of the drink, and I haven't tried one either. I also think of Manhattan quite often, since I was born in New York City. Lived there for 36 years.

      NOTE: Enelinwen is my BLOGGER ID.
      I'm doing the A to Z from my wordpress blog: https://fimnorawestcaw.wordpress.com

      Delete
  23. I too have had a manhattan. And with the way my fingers are typing, I may be having a flashback...

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've never heard of the film or the expression Lost Weekend. Not in any historical fashion anyway. For a person who owns a fully stocked bar in my basement, I have to admit, I have not had a Manhattan. Perhaps I'll have to mix one for myself tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for the mention, Lee! ☺ It's been quite a few years since I've had a Manhattan cocktail. There's a definite difference in taste between whiskeys, be it Rye (Canadian), Scotch (Scottish) Irish (same) or Bourbon (American). Coming from a European background, alcohol is a normal part of life for me, but always in moderation. Cheers!
    http://i730.photobucket.com/albums/ww310/d-d-b-doglady/Drinks/Cheers%20whiskey_zps1koctpnw.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  26. Arlee,

    My long gone Parent, Uncles, and Aunts would drink the Manhattans. They called them "High Balls." The other day having lunch in Boston, we saw High Balls on the menu.......We ordered 4 of them......and when I say them, I mean Shirley Temples we called High Balls. After all, nobody in their right minds should be drinking embalming fluid! Great Blog
    Zulu Delta

    ReplyDelete
  27. Having lived in Manhattan for over a decade, and visit frequently from the burbs, it is rather odd to note that I have never had a Manhattan. Funny, I don't know anyone who has actually ever drunk one. Perhaps its a generational thing, since I understand the old and now the young are partial to them. Personally, I am rather partial to vodka or champagne.

    Hello, from blogging A to Z; Blog-Journaling on Paper

    ReplyDelete
  28. Been having a rough week, I think last night was the first in a long time I drank... Very Nice Post... but you know that, that's why you posted it! Right!

    Welcome in the letter "D"... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2016]

    Stop over and find a free "SIX STRINGS: BLOGGING AtoZ CHALLENGE" Here: http://www.jmhdigital.com/

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeremy, I can understand getting driven to drink which is okay as long as you don't drink and drive.

      Lee

      Delete
  29. I've never been drinking in Manhattan, nor have I ever had a Manhattan to drink.

    I don't drink anymore, but back when I did, Smirnoff Sterling was the drink of choice. I had just enough lemonade to add a hint of color to the vodka, but after the first glass, it was basically straight. I am allergic to oranges, so a screwdriver with orange juice was out of the question.

    My daddy was an alcoholic and kept a bottle of Smirnoff by his bed. I took my first drink out of that bottle. As far as I know, they never figured out that I was sneaking drinks of Daddy's vodka, though I don't know how they didn't notice. That stuff stinks!

    Thankfully, those days are far behind me, and my daddy gave up drinking eventually. Alcoholism doesn't end just because one stops drinking, however. Sometimes the pull towards the bottle gets pretty strong.

    Have a great evening!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have never drank a Manhattan, but we've visited Manhattan for dinner and drinks several times. I'm a creature of habit, either a Bud Light or Vodka Cranberry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna, I usually go for what I know if I do order a drink which is rare and if I do it's usually a beer of some kind.

      Lee

      Delete
  31. I could probably think of NYC bar scenes, since so many movies are filmed there. But I don't think of specific boroughs, except maybe Harlem. So whether a scene takes place in Brooklyn or Manhattan - it's just not something I think about.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love cocktails and your story reminded me of the ti>
    me when I visited a restaurant Margharita in Singapore just to have a Margharita.....Quite different from what I'd imagined it to be though.
    > BellyBytes from
    Mumbai On A High


    ReplyDelete
  33. The drink that Stephen wrote is the one I know and I made for myself since it sounds so sophisticated.....Bleccchhh. I am not one for whiskey even if it's Crown Royal( the best and, yes, Canadian). It is strong. I prefer my vodka but now that is rare. I tried watching The Lost Weekend and I was actually laughing at the over-acting by Ray Milland. I should try it again. I am trying to think of some movies but On The Town comes to my mind but that is more about NYC. I used to watch Sex and the City and I did go to an upscale bar when in Manhatten and ordered a way too expensive Cosmo. The Cosmo was good, the atmosphere was pretentious and silly and way too costly.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I can't say that I've ever had a Manhatten. Like you, I'm not much of a drinker, if at all.

    I was trying to think of a movie that showed a bar in Manhatten, and the only one that comes to mind at the moment is "Cocktail" with Tom Cruise. And even then, I am not 100% positive that was Manhatten.

    Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    ReplyDelete
  35. Manhattan is MY drink! I ask for a brandy Manhattan, over. I use brandy, sweet vermouth, ice and a cherry! I can take or leave the bitters. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I haven't drank a Mahattan before; I'm not keen on alcoholic drinks though I don't mind the taste of champagne. :-) #AtoZChallenge

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm not a bar or club person, no matter what city. My preferred drink is beer, at home or a nice restaurant. I also like sweet wines, champagne, and fruit- and chocolate-flavored liqueurs.

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee