1236 University Avenue, Hillcrest
Uptown Tavern’s bar back Miguel Duran is in the advanced placement class of bartenders-in-training. Observing Uptown’s bartenders at work, he’s come up with his own signature cocktail.
When he began creating what’s now known as Miguelito’s Rye Manhattan, he knew he wanted to spin it out of a liquor infusion — the same sort that has become a trademark of Uptown’s bartenders.
“We have other fusions at the bar, and I didn’t want to stick with vodka or regular bourbon,” he said. “The only liquor that wasn’t infused at the time was rye.”
The Miguelito (“Little Miguel” — a moniker Duran acquired in the course of his labors) uses an apples-and-cinnamon infusion that mellows out the drink as it invokes the warmth of the season.
“If someone orders a regular rye Manhattan, it’s a regular rye Manhattan with vermouth,” he says, “but this one has a sweeter aftertaste with the apple, and it coats your mouth with a cinnamon flavor. It’s quite delicious, especially on those cold nights.”
The infusion has become popular among Uptown patrons, Duran says.
“Sometimes the people order shots of the rye whiskey infused with apple and cinnamon itself,” he says. “It’s that good.”
Duran’s apple of choice for the infusion is the Fuji, which plays a middle ground between tart and cloying.
“The Fuji is crisp and sweet, but not too sweet,” he says. “Unlike the Granny Smith, it’s not puckery or sour.”
Miguel Duran’s rye-apple-cinnamon infusion:
In an infuser, pour:
- 1 bottle Overholt Rye Whiskey
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 3 Fuji apples, sliced
Infuse five to seven days before use.