Drink of the Week: Jimmy’s Restaurant’s Mountain Manhattan

Jimmy’s Restaurant’s Mountain Manhattan.
Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune

In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.

If you’re a whiskey drinker, you’re probably aware that the classic Manhattan cocktail is often compared alongside the Old Fashioned. If you’re a little in the dark on either (or both), in a nutshell, the Old Fashioned is a little sweeter and the Manhattan a little stronger. Sure, there are varying degrees of this depending on ingredients, which is where this week’s feature comes storming out of the gates.

This is the Logan Roy of Manhattans – bold, powerful, and iconic. To start, a growing trend in the cocktail industry is coating the serving glass with a rinse of a spirit prior to the actual cocktail going into the glass. Whatever doesn’t hang gets dumped and the stage is set for the rest of the drink. In this case, the rinse is performed with Laphroaig scotch whiskey.

For the actual cocktail, the ingredients are Basil Hayden’s dark rye whiskey, Lucano Amaro, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters, then garnished with a Luxardo cherry. It’s like a who’s who of booze where the initial smell of the get-together evokes the feeling of walking through the woods on a crisp day.

All of the ingredients bring something different and unique to the party, but they are also on the same page in a lot of ways. Similar notes of dark berry, spice, herbs, and caramel seem to punctuate the well-rounded mouth feel with each sip.

The whiskey doesn’t catch your attention until the middle, but it finishes with the perfect sweetness and leaves the palette completely refreshed, but in a kind of woody way. Other notes of molasses, vanilla, citrus, and raisin also seem to poke through at points, but never in a way that makes this drink feel like it lost its way. It’s straightforward and delicious.

I’m an equal lover of Manhattans and an Old Fashioned, but if all Manhattans were singing at this level, I’d probably tilt to team Manhattan – a testament to this drink.

Jimmy’s Restaurant is located inside the The Landing at 4104 Lakeshore Blvd in South Lake Tahoe. For restaurant information and menu items visit them at or reach them via phone at 530-545-4052.

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