Jefferson’s The Manhattan Barrel Finished Cocktail
This barrel-finished cocktail contains six-year-old Jefferson’s Bourbon and was created in partnership with Esquire’s Editor-in-Chief, David Granger.
The principal author of the Declaration of Independence and one of the greatest Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson was elected the third President of the United States in 1800. During his tenure, Jefferson authorized the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, dispatched Lewis and Clark westward in order to explore the remainder of the continent and repealed the Whisky Excise Tax.
After Jefferson retired from public office in 1815, he often tended to the garden that he had cultivated on his Monticello estate. At the time, it was customary for wealthy farmers, including Jefferson, to distill the excess grains they harvested from their farms into spirits (George Washington was one of the country’s largest distillers of rye whiskey). As a result, each farmer’s spirits were unique and reflected the local terrior of their farm. The Jefferson’s brand pays homage to Jefferson and the exquisite whiskey he distilled.
Jefferson’s The Manhattan Barrel Finished Cocktail was developed by Jefferson’s founder Trey Zoeller in partnership with David Granger, Editor-in-Chief of Esquire. The pair spent two years and dozens of attempts honing in on the perfect recipe, which they ultimately found by mixing Jefferson’s Bourbon, dry and sweet vermouth and barrel-aged spiced cherry bitters. The exact bourbon used is six years old — it started at 125 proof and was refined to 82.3 proof — and once mixed with the vermouth and bitters, the resulting liquid is aged for an additional 90 days in oak barrels before being bottled at 68 proof.
As a result of this unique barrel-aging process, Jefferson’s The Manhattan Barrel Finished Cocktail has a ripe aroma of Madeira wine and vanilla extract, which leads to a sharp palate filled with bitter herbs, vermouth and citrus. The finish is clean and lengthy, with soft notes of licorice, oak and root vegetables making the final statement. “Esquire covers the wide-ranging interests of men and one of our primary passion points is drinking and the culture of drinking,” said Granger. “It’s been a joy working with Trey on finally putting our considerable drinking experience to some productive use. (It was also good to drink lots of his whiskey). And it’s particularly gratifying that our distinctive version of the classic cocktail tastes so damn good.