Winning Manhattan Experience recipe

383 Woodford Bartender Manhattan Contest_sm

William Whitlow making his Temperance Manhattan

I promised you last week that I’d tell you who won the Esquire and Woodford Reserve’s Manhattan Experience contest I was a judge for. Did I mention it was tough work? I think I sampled around 10 Manhattans — and they were all amazing.

The winner was William Whitlow from Covington, Ky., and his concoction was called the Temperance. Below is the recipe. Whitlow’s drink will be judged among winners from 30 cities around the country, and six bartenders will then be selected to showcase their cocktails during the Manhattan Experience finale in New York City on Jan. 13, 2014. I am available to judge in New York, if anyone was wondering.

Temperance Manhattan: 

1 1/2 ounces Woodford Reserve
1/2 ounce house vanilla syrup
10 drops allspice dram
1/4 ounce Framboise Liqueur
2 Dashes Bitter Truth Aromatic bitters
3 drops orange blossom water
1/4 ounce barrel strength bourbon
1 house brandied cherry
1 coupe class

In the coupe, add the cherry and barrel-strength bourbon. Swish it around and light on fire. Let this burn for a few seconds before starting the next step.

Mix all other ingredients in a mixing glass. Put out fire by covering glass. Stir ingredients for about 10 seconds. Very slowly pour drink into glass. Make sure to pour directly on top of the cherry to disperse the drink and keep the glass from breaking. Let sit for a moment to let the rim of the glass cool before serving.

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