Back in the 1800s, two Saratoga cocktails were battling it out. One was a Fancy Brandy Cocktail (brandy, triple sec, bitters and sugar) topped with a splash of chilled Champagne, and the other was this cocktail. Needless to say, the libation featured here was the clear victor. Essentially a Manhattan made with a split base of rye whiskey and Cognac, the stiff mix is tempered with sweet vermouth and spicy Angostura bitters. It’s a great option for Manhattan obsessives who want to try something different—but not too different.
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.