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My partner GreenMountainBoy02 and I toyed with the idea of having an election night party, but it didn't pan out. So, we packed up and went up East to our place on The Rock to take in the election (we voted last week) and clean out the fridge, because now it's getting to be that time of year when there's a storm a week and crossing the harbor in our little skiff is not something you can do just any day in the Winter. We just can't get out here every week like we used to until Spring.

Our little place up East on the island in the harbor and the woodpile that makes it possible to be here at this time of year

So here we are, with the wood fire going and the grill going out on the deck for some grilled chicken (cleaning out the freezer!) we'll have along with some potatoes and frozen veggie leftovers. Not too exciting, but hey, there's always cocktails!

Now, we're optimists, so we have a bottle of champagne in the fridge. We figure it drinks the same no matter who wins. But I do like to have a cocktail--especially on election night--and here's what we're having: the (in)famous Commonmass Manhattan. A nice switch from gin and tonic or martinis when the weather gets cooler (and it was in the 20's last night), this twist on the classic Manhattan fits the season and is versatile enough to be at once celebratory and potentially sorrow-drowning.

Follow me over the fold for the recipe once I get back from the woodshed...

Commonmass' Holiday/Election Eve Manhattan

First of all, this is NOT a Manhattan. It's a "Manhattan-like cocktail", just like a Vodka Martini is not a Martini, it's a "Martini-like cocktail". It's not a Manhattan because I use rye instead of bourbon. I detest bourbon. It tastes like the unreconstructed South on a particularly humid day. I prefer rye, which tastes, well, cool and refreshing. Like Canada, which should be no surprise, because the rye I use for this cocktail is in fact Canadian. Any good Canadian whisky will do.

A note on bitters: A couple of dashes of bitters in this kind of cocktail is nice. Most people use Angostura, which are lovely bitters, but given that this is election night, I'm thinking something more close to home like Peychaud's Bitters from Louisiana. It's different, and a classic New Orleans taste (try a drop on a raw oyster) that's just the right addition to a Manhattan which is not really a Manhattan.

3 Jiggers of rye

1 Jigger sweet (red) vermouth

2 or 3 drops bitters (try Peychaud's)

dash of cherry juice

twist of lemon and orange

cocktail cherry

Season some ice in a cocktail shaker with the bitters and a dash of cherry juice. Pour rye and vermouth over ice and shake well until mixed. Pour into a cone shaped glass or over the rocks in an Old Fashioned glass to which the zest (twist) of lemon and orange have been added. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

LIMIT: Two on a Friday, one on a weekday.

So, what are you drinking? From hot tea to Manhattans, we're all drinking something tonight. Do share and if it's mixed, do share the recipe!

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