Country star makes a Manhattan

I got a funny sort of PR email today. A country artist I’ve never heard of, Kelleigh Bannen, has a new song out, and to promote it, she did a video in which she makes a Manhattan.

Ordinarily, I’d let this sort of thing pass me right by, or if I were mildly interested, I’d watch the video and then forget about it entirely. A couple of reasons I’m not doing that now. Watch the video; it’s under three minutes. I think you’ll see the first notable thing right away.


Tell me you weren’t surprised by the whiskey. Oh, and she chose rye, which sadly is notable in itself. The cherries aren’t a bad call, either. Technique? Y’know what, I don’t sweat shaking vs. stirring when it comes to mixing a drink at home. The primary reason to stir a Manhattan is to maintain clarity in the drink when you serve it. Shaking agitates the cocktail and makes it hazy looking. Aesthetics matter in cocktail making, but they’re not always crucial. Serving it on the rocks? Well, first, it’s the giant Tovolo tray, so there’s that. Second, here’s my shameful secret: I prefer Manhattans on a giant rock like that.

My only real quibble is why she’s so adamant that the bitters go on at the end.


4 thoughts on “Country star makes a Manhattan

  1. I absolutely love Willet, and I was, in fact, surprised. Let’s just pretend that her vermouth hasn’t been sitting unrefrigerated and upright in a cabinet for several months. She’s beautiful so she gets a pass on the shaking.


  2. Thanks for passing this along. That certainly is an interesting technique she has … And thanks for those corrections. 🙂

    Despite her unorthodox recipe , that’s still going to be a better manhattan than any I’ve had at out recently. Which is probably why I make them for myself fairly often. But I like ’em up.



  3. Ditto. Bitters first. Vermouth second. Agitate to get the ice coated. THEN add your base spirit. Experimentation shows that this actually makes a better cocktail. (And, yes, while this applies to most cocktails, I’ll still tell you to save the bitters “floater” for Fizzes, Flips and other frothy drinks.)


  4. I was equally impressed. At first I was like “shoot, is he testing us to see if we’ll call out all of her mistakes?” In any case, I’d gladly order a Manhattan from her…


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