PHOTO BY WILLIAM M. DOWD
Signature drinks sometimes have close competition within their own establishment. I found that to be the case when I visited the luxurious Reluctant Panther Inn & Restaurant in Manchester, VT, where a cocktail created by one of the industry's top names is being challenged by the man in charge locally.
Then, we finish this month's collection with a new concoction from a trendy Manhattan watering hole.
• The Reluctant Panther
This is the establishment's signature cocktail, created for it by Las Vegas-based mixology guru Tony Abou-Ganim. It fits in with owner Jerry Lavalley's penchant for grain-based vodkas.
1 1/2 ounces Belvedere vodka
1/2 ounce freshly- made lemon sour
1/2 ounce chambord
Blackberries marinated in Grand Marnier
Combine vodka, lemon sour and chambord in a cocktail shaker with fresh ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Top off with champagne and drop in several of the berries.
• Blueberry Fusion
Bar manager Josh Cohen came up with this spinoff drink that is giving the Reluctant Panther a run for the most-popular status at the inn.
1 1/2 ounces Stoli Blueberry vodka
1/2 ounce freshly-made lemon sour
1/2 ounce Blue curacao
Fresh berries marinated in Grand Marnier
Combine vodka, lemon sour and curacao in a cocktail shaker with fresh ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with Sprite and drop in several of the berries. Note: Cohen says six hours is sufficient marinating time.
• Ruby Manhattan
This drink was created by Michael Waterhouse of the Devin Tavern (363 Greenwich St.) in New York, substituting ruby port for the usual sweet vermouth.
2 ounces Michter's Rye Whiskey
1 1/2 ounces ruby port
Dash of Reagan's Orange Bitters
Dash orange bitters into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze and treat the glass with orange twist. Build ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Stir 20 seconds and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry and orange twist.
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