Sour Cherry Manhattan Republic at Calhoun Square $8
The first day of spring came and went yesterday, but that doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet. Looking at the forecast, we've got many more days left to curl up in the dark with a glass full of brown liquor before patio doors are flung open and the city's cocktail menus are flooded with gin, vodka, and St. Germain. Why not tuck into a Sour Cherry Manhattan at Calhoun Square's Republic as a final goodbye to all things winter and warming? Made with top shelf bourbon and muddled tart stone fruit, it looks back at this beast of a season while looking forward to the great thaw.
Belly up to the bar, order a charcuterie spread or a plateful of house-made sausages, and allow your Sour Cherry Manhattan and some sustainably sourced meaty comfort food to cure what ails you. Although sour cherries have higher nutritional value than their sweeter counterparts, and medicinal properties dating back centuries, you'll find none of the sickly-sweet cough syrup taste common in other cherry-based drinks. Rather, the first thing you'll notice is the smooth Knob Creek 9 year, followed by the Dolin sweet vermouth, then the sweet-tart tang of sour cherry, with lingering aromatics from the cherry vanilla bitters.
There may come a time, in the not so distant future, when you'll be strolling the aisles of the farmers market and come upon an overflowing basket of these sour little gems, elusive and fleeting; if that day comes, milk it for all its worth. Pucker up, eat as many as you can stomach, and throw the rest in a bottle of bourbon for the most sublime crimson-hued infusion. Until that day, get your fix with the Sour Cherry Manhattan, tart and potent in all the right ways. Poised on the cusp of spring, it's an ever-so-sippable blend of once and future tastes.