What you’re drinking: Manhattans are usually mixed at the bar, but the Broadway’s new version mixes Bulleit Rye and Carpano Antica Formula (a high-end Italian vermouth) and ages them together in an oak barrel for 100 days. How new is the drink? On a recent Tuesday afternoon, general manager Dave Jenks was just starting to decant the 10 liters of Manhattans into bottles. Front-of-house manager and bartender Brian Edmands fixed up a glass for me, afterward remarking, “I haven’t even tasted it yet!” After a long sip he nodded knowingly. “It’s delicious.”
How to drink it: For James Bond, drinks are always shaken, but unnecessary roughness disrupts the smooth flavor of this Manhattan. Three ounces are poured into a glass of ice and stirred for two suspenseful minutes. Edmands says you can have it neat, but he recommends it with a single large ice cube, aka, “on the rock,” topped with a Bordeaux cherry.
What it tastes like: It has a rich, earthy oak flavor that plays off the vermouth’s vanilla notes. It’s smooth and mellow, and the simple presentation makes it seem pretty classy.
Where you’re drinking it: The Broadway is a sports bar with dated decor, save for one industrial-chic brick wall. But what’s cool about the bar are Jenks and Edmands (and some friendly regulars) who, along with a third bartender, Chance Pipal, have a passion for experimentation. Last year, they made a peach-infused Old Fashioned (it went fast) and a Limoncello (still available). “I think the new generation is looking for quality over quantity,” Jenks says. “They eat a lot less processed foods, drink a lot more local beer, eat a lot more local food — they care where everything comes from. And that’s a good thing.”
Where to find it: 1609 West Broadway. Opens at 4 p.m. daily.
Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email email@example.com.