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Point and a HalfAs we've stated before, the Manhattan is the drink that almost everybody likes and is relatively easy to make. When we were living in Milano, we came upon the brilliant idea to switch red vermouth with Punt e Mes in our Manhattan. Punt e Mes is an incredibly bitter, yet addictive type of vermouth. A Milanese friend told us punt e mes is dialect for "point a half" and we've repeated this as gospel over the years but never had it confirmed. Being that the stock exchange is in Milano, the aperitif is from Milano and we were in Milano, it all made perfect sense.

On our return home, we discovered we'd created nothing original. A Manhattan made with Punt e Mes instead of regular red vermouth is in fact called a Top Shelf Manhattan. A different pal, who frankly is a little too smart for his own good, claims Top Shelf refers to the fact that Punt e Mes is rarely used in cocktails and is kept on the "top shelf". Who knows?

You'll most likely need to go to a well-stocked merchant to find Punt e Mes.

In a glass pitcher, mix one part Punt e Mes to two parts Bourbon. Stir over ice and strain into stemmed glasses. Garnish with a cherry or twist. There is no need to add Angostura bitters.



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