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.

Whiskey, rye whiskey

Jack o’ Diamonds, Jack o’ Diamonds, I know you of old
You have robbed my poor pockets of silver and gold
It’s a-whiskey, you villain, you’ve a been my downfall
You’ve kicked me, you’ve cuffed me,
But I love you for all.

And it’s a whiskey, rye whiskey
Rye whiskey, I cry
If I don’t get rye whiskey
Well I think I will die.

It’s a beefsteak when I’m hungry
Rye whiskey when I’m dry
Greenback when I’m hard up
Heaven when I die.

I’ll a-go to yonder holler
I’ll build me a still
I’ll give you a gallon
Fer a five dollar bill

Whiskey, rye whiskey
Rye whiskey, I cry
If a tree don’t fall on me,
I’ll live ’til I die.

If the ocean was whiskey
And I was a duck
I’d dive to the bottom
An’ never come up

Now the ocean ain’t whiskey
And I ain’t a duck
I’ll play Jack o’ Diamond
And trust to my luck

Ha ha ha whiskey, rye whiskey
Rye whiskey, I cry
If whiskey don’t kill me,
I’ll live ’til I die.

–Tex Ritter, “Rye Whiskey”