Shaken or Stirred
In the comment section of the previous post, a commenter inquired why I insist my Manhattan be stirred, rather than shaken. It's a good question and deserves a good answer.
I prefer my Manhattan clear, not overly chilled and void of ice chips. This is what results from stirring, rather than shaking.
The debate over what is a "proper" Manhattan is one that is usually had between folks who tend to like to measure appendages, the distances fluids can be shot and who like to argue in general. The fact is, the idea of "proper" doesn't come into a discussion of preference.
The Manhattan is one thing at base: A whiskey (Rye, traditionally, but today usually bourbon), bitters and vermouth. This is what makes a Manhattan a Manhattan. One might call out rye or bourbon and one might ask for a dry or sweet vermouth and one might ask for a slight rinse of cherry juice. But inhe end, you are going to get a concoction of whiskey, vermouth and bitters.
But then there is the method of mixing. It makes a difference. Putting these three ingredients in a cocktail shaker, then shaking them together will certainly blend them. However, the result will be something of a more frothy, rather than clear, appearance than if simply stirred. Frothy vs. Clear is a matter of preference.
In addition, the shaken Manhattan will usually be colder than the stirred Manhattan. I find that the colder this cocktail is the less flavor and aroma one is exposed to. I like the aroma of bourbon and a Manhattan. Yet, I still like it chilled. So, for me, stirring delivers the right level of chill to the cocktail, while the shaking tends to over chill the drink.
Shaking the ice-cooled cocktail will also often result in broken ice, which in turn can often deliver small ice chips into the drink. Ice chips create a different consistency to the Manhattan that I don't prefer. So, again, stirring, is my preference as it it rarely, if done with care, breaks up the cups and produces chips in the glass. Those chips will also eventually melt and dilute my cocktail. Again, not my preference.
I don't get upset or indignant when I hear someone order their Manhattan James Bond Style. I simply presume they want their drink delivered in a particular condition, just as I do. However, I do expect a good mixologist, if given the simple order of, say, "A Makers Mark Manhattan up", to build the drink with a stir and not a shake. Nevertheless, if the person behind the bar does not know me and my proclivities, I'll usually tell them, "Stirred, Not shaken," just to make sure I get what I want.