Marisa Chafetz/Supercall

Brandy • Sweet

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Albert Stevens Crockett has perhaps the best explanation for the Harvard’s popularity. In his 1931 Old Waldorf Bar Days, he writes, “Named after the school for young men…in a suburb of Boston. Alumni who drunk it sometimes lost the ‘Harvard accent.’” While we can’t promise this Manhattan variation will make you sound more (or less) classically educated, we can guarantee the drink will go down easy. Made with brandy—which gives the drink a fruity, apple-like flavor—along with rich demerara syrup, vermouth and bitters, the Harvard has a warming, autumnal feel. While the original recipe in George J. Kappeler’s Modern American Drinks calls for a topper of soda, we prefer the neater, tighter flavors without the fizz.

The Essentials

sweet vermouth
demerara syrup
The Details


1.5 oz brandy (we prefer Cognac)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 barspoon demerara syrup


  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, and stir.
  • Strain into a Nick and Nora glass.
Demerara Syrup
Custom Ingredient


1 Cup Demerara Sugar
1 Cup Water


  • Combine the water and demerara sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Immediately take the saucepan off the heat. 
  • Let cool, then pour into a container (something clear to show off your nice golden syrup) and store in the refrigerator for up to one month. 
Whiskey Bitter Easy
Vieux Carre

The Vieux Carre may not have the same Big Easy cred as the Sazerac, but it is as quintessentially New Orleanian as beignets, oyster po’ boys and party beads. Invented at the Monteleone Hotel in 1938, it mirrors the city’s Franco-American style with a backbone of rye and sweet vermouth, along with a heady mix of Cognac and Benedictine.