|3.00 a.m. , after a long Lions shift. My first Estival Manhattan, mixed by Mario Kappes himself|
So, we are in the middle of june. Summer in the City. People start ordering "Summer Drinks". Collinses, Fizzes and Sours become the main orders of the night. Smashes for sure, and the Gin Basil Smash is nearly on every bon. Mary Pickford's, Periodistas and also the Zingavit (a mixture of lemongrass-ginger liqueur, aquavit and a splash of fresh lime juice) are great choices to feel the summer also in the glass - in a sophisticated way, for sure!
Aperol Spritz, god bless god old Aperol, is this days a very often upcoming order in germanys bars and cafés. I do not like to serve this drink in our bar - so the only way to stop selling it without making guest unhappy was to ban a Aperol from Le Lion.
A bar should not stock all kind of drinks. It should make a selection. So we also do not serve Bellini's (which I think is a fine drink!). No fresh peach puree, no prosecco = no Bellini.
The last month, I heard a few times a drink name popping up in our bar.
An Estival Manhattan. Mario Kappes created something new. When he was behind the shakers, our regulars start to order his Manhattan creation. Also during our guest-shift in one of the most underground places of Frankfurt, Pinke Bar, the legendary Owner Mr. Perner asks me for this new drink.
So, it was time to talk to Mr. Kappes face to face. Highnoon at the bar. Last night I asked Mr. Kappes at the end of my shift (which was not the end of his shift - sometimes it's cool to be the owner of the bar): "Would you please mix me an Estival Manhattan?"
I say the very little smile on his face. "Sure". Seconds later, I had this "Summer" Manhattan Variation in front of me. A frosted glass, simple, elegant. No Twist, nothing, just an ice cold drink.
Rye, Noilly Ambre, Peach Bitters. No Twist - nothing else. Mr. Kappes knows that I love this kind of Drink. Three Ingredients - why use more? Perfect. And I like the taste. Strong Rye, soften with this fine and rare Ambre and the power of just one to two dashes of Peach Bitters. A VERY tasteful summer mix for Le Lion. And amazing how peach bitter works out here. In this days, where bartender "over bitter" many drinks and I am trying to use as less Bitters as possible for our Le Lion Drinks, the peach bitter in an Estival Manhattan is a fine example why Bitters are useful for classic cocktails (or some classic interpretation, like the Estival).
And what REALLY great tool an Estival Manhattan is: the next time one of our lovely guest ask me for a "Bellini" I will now answer Lions style:
"Sorry we do not have the ingredients for a great bellini but why not try an Estival Manhattan. A true "fruity" summer classic."
THE ESTIVAL MANHATTAN by Mario Kappes
2011 • Le Lion - Bar de Paris • Hamburg
50 ml Sazerac Rye Whiskey
20 ml Noilly Prat Ambre
1-2 dash of Fee Brother's Peach Bitter's
Stir, strain, serve.