The Perfect Manhattan and Date Night

Last night, after a particularly long and stressful week (The Boyfriend and I both had midterms and he had a bit of work stress), we were due a date night. I got home from work and set to making us cocktails. I opted for the classic Manhattan, since whiskey seemed perfect for the occasion.

Someone had gifted The Boyfriend with a bottle of Single Barrel Jack Daniels that we hadn’t opened. I have a lifelong distaste for sour mash whiskey, but our bourbon selection has suffered this winter – there’s nothing quite like it on a cold winter night – so I opted to give the Jack a chance.

I happened to pick up bourbon cherries at a specialty store last weekend, so I used those. Regular maraschino are fine, if you have them on hand. I bought grapefruit bitters at the same time. Angostura or other bitters are just as good.

The Perfect Manhattan
1.5 oz whiskey (bourbon is best)
.5 oz sweet vermouth
A dash of bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

We rounded out date night with nibbly appetizer bits for dinner and a movie, snuggled up with The Puppy on the couch. The Boyfriend had never seen Pan’s Labyrinth, so we rented that. It has all the trappings of my kind of movie (slightly depressing, screwed up family, drama, heart strings, etc.) and I adore it. I think he was expecting more fantasy from it and I think it disappointed him. In any event, date night was perfect. The drinks were delicious, the company was fantastic. It was exactly what we needed and we’re both feeling more like ourselves today.

How do you deal with stress? What’s your favorite way to cap off a long week?

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