A couple of weeks ago, we received two sample bottles of Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Since I already reviewed this grown-up soda, I decided that I’d try it in a cocktail. The obvious cocktail choice would have been a Dark’N’Stormy or a Moscow Mule, but I decided to try something a little different.
Back in December of 2014, I reviewed a book called Brooklyn Spirits which was all about craft spirits and craft cocktails in the “World’s Hippest Borrough”. One of the cocktail recipes featured in the book is called The Wedding Slinger. It’s basically a Manhattan highball of sorts that uses ginger ale to transform this boozy-licious drink (i.e. the classic Manhattan cocktail) into something more akin to a “session” cocktail. Here’s the original recipe:
The Wedding Slinger
- 1.25 ounces of 77 Local Rye and Corn Whisky
- .5 ounce of Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth
- 2 dashes of orange bitters
- Ginger Ale
- Cocktail cherry
Method: Place all ingredients besides the garnish in a shaker mostly filled with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice and top with Ginger Ale and garnish with a cocktail cherry.
As you can see in the photo at the top of this post, I didn’t have any 77 Local Rye and Corn Whisky, so I instead used the Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye, and instead of a Canada Dry or Seagram’s Ginger Ale, I went with the aforementioned Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer.
Unfortunately, adding an alcohol based mixer defeated the purpose of this drink, i.e. to get the essence of a classic Manhattan without the “knock you on your ass” factor. Instead of a light and refreshing drink, the boozy ginger beer weighed it down and made it a bit too spicy. The gingery spices also overpowered the subtle flavors of the rye whisky and sweet vermouth. Even though I managed to screw up this drink, that hasn’t discouraged me from trying to make it again. Next time around, The Wedding Slinger will be made as its creator intended!
Many thanks to Emily Bennett of 360 Public Relations for the kicked-up ginger beer samples!