{Share} Volume 8

Fried Turkey & the Perfect Manhattan by

November 2013 – Two of the finest Southern contributions to the holiday season? Deep fried Thanksgiving turkey and hand crafted whiskey. The history of illicit alcohol production in the U.S. dates back to Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton suggesting the taxation of whiskey pay off America’s substantial $21 million Independence War debt. Next came Prohibition, followed promptly by the evidence of its failure. Not only was the ban on alcohol blatantly ignored but an iconic era of American decadence was born. Whether bourbon or rye (each should contain just over 50% of corn or rye respectively), a slightly chilled serving of the stuff is truly one of life’s simple pleasures. Experimentation is a must; American rye is typically a bit less sweet than it’s bourbon counterpart and a choice between the Manhattan and the Perfect Manhattan results in a slight difference in sweetness as well. A Manhattan boasts only sweet vermouth while the Perfect Manhattan blends both sweet and dry vermouth. The typical ingredients:

  • 2 oz bourbon or American rye
  • .5 oz sweet vermouth
  • .5 oz dry vermouth
  • The slightest splash of bitters

A fine cocktail deserves a simple and flavorful compliment. One tasty turkey recipe by former New Orleans based chef Emeril Lagasse incorporates Worcestershire, cayenne, cider and honey for a sweet and spicy flavor combo… The basics are as follows:

  • A 30 quart aluminum fryer
  • Peanut oil (other oils smoke and burn at such high temperatures) heated to 350-360 degrees
  • Allow 3-5 minutes per pound of turkey

Free range and organic birds can be sourced from both Dean & Deluca and Williams Sonoma. Luxe retailer Neiman Marcus now ships a fried turkey for simple reheating. Enjoy (recommended with this edition’s playlist)!