The cocktail scene in the West is kind of roaring big, beating the pants out of anywhere else—even when it comes to the not-in-our-zip-code-named Manhattan. But for the record, the Centennial Manhattan at San Diego’s U.S. Grant Hotel’s Grant Grill is straight-up all West. The Rye is High West from the Park City, Utah distillery. Then add bitters, vermouth, and barrel age it for 100 days, put it in some sexy vintage glassware, and I’ll drink one of these any old night and toast to Jeff Josenhans, resident mixologist. Now that’s imagination, with this cocktail claiming to be one of the first barrel-aged ones in the world.
The 100-Day Barrel-Aged Manhattan was created in honor of the hotel’s 100th birthday, a nice example of an old-school meeting new. And after a taste test, it bodes well for the future of barrel aging. Are barrels going big around the West? Tell us where to find more.