The Monte Carlo is about as close to a Manhattan as Manhattan variations get. The only difference is that this variation swaps sweet vermouth for herbal Bénédictine liqueur, yielding an ever-so-slightly heavier, honeyed, orange-flecked cocktail. With its refreshing lightness and slight bitterness, the Monte Carlo may become your new go-to order for a pre-dinner aperitif. It’s languished in relative obscurity since David Embury put it down in print in his 1948 The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, so while your bartender may not know the Monte Carlo by name, he’ll certainly be impressed by your unique call for a Bénédictine modifier in your Manhattan.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, and stir.
- Strain into a lowball glass.
- Garnish with an orange twist.
In Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide, an "improved" cocktail is a simple cocktail in the traditional sense of the word (spirit, sugar and water) that is "improved" with some added liqueur and/or absinthe, and garnished with an expressed lemon peel. The Improved Whiskey Cocktail is essentially an Old Fashioned with the addition of maraschino...