dimanche 12 octobre 2008

My Manhattans around the world - Episode 1 : Paris

I've had more than one Manhattan in Paris. But most of them were disappointing.
In France, bourbon or rye are not the usual choice of the barman. Far too often, they make the Manhattan with scotch (as any cocktail-geek will tell you, then it's no more a Manhattan but a Rob Roy).
If you don't know much about whiskies, you might take this as pure snobbery or nitpicking. But the tastes of bourbon, rye and scotch are very different, indeed.
So, for a Manhattan, the closest thing to the genuine whisky you'd be served in France is... Jack Daniels. Well, it's a bourbon, right ? No, Sir, it's a Tennessee whisky ! There's that extra step of charcoal filtering that changes the taste of the final product.
JD is not my preferred american whisky (it used to be, back when I didn't know much about much) but the brand is very strong in France, so barmen always have a bottle on their shelves.

So, knowing that chances to get a well made Manhattan are slim in Paris, where should you go ?
Try the Harry's Bar.

I've only been there once. In the summer of 2005, I think. The main room is rather small. And there's no cocktail card. You can ask for whatever you like. Yeah, they're supposed to be that good.
I went there with an old friend, he took an Americano and I, of course, ordered a Manhattan.
I can't remember if this one was served on the rocks or not. I don't know what kind of whisky the barman used. What I can remember is that we enjoyed our drinks and even had another round. This leads me to point the secret ingredient of good cocktails : a cool place to drink and friends to share the moment.
Quite ironically, I had my digital camera but forgot to shoot my Manhattan, so I only have the pic of my friend's Americano.

Another friend has told me that the staff have been changing through the last years and this bar might not be as great as it used to be.
I'll have to go there once more, just to make my own opinion...

Catégorie : Blogging_Cocktails

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