The Sherman Cocktail is another one from the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book and is an inverted riff on the good ol’ Manhattan Cocktail, but with a few surprises. In this case, the vermouth upstages the whiskey for a slightly sweeter version of the original.
I cannot find any direct reference as to how this cocktail was named. It is the way with so many cocktails; their histories are lost to time. It’s possible that it was named after Sherman Billingsley, the owner of the Stork Club which opened in 1929. The dates are right, but who knows.
You will need rye whiskey for this one, and don’t get the cheap stuff. Don’t use Bourbon, either, which will make this drink too sweet.
2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Rye Whiskey
3 dashes Absinthe
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist
While it is unusual for the vermouth to outweigh the liquor in a cocktail, it works incredibly well here. The rye serves to cut through the sweet, and the two types of bitters mix with the spices of the vermouth to form a rather complicated menu of tastes. You should barely taste the absinthe, but it will be there, lurking in the shadows. A mysterious little cocktail, to be sure.