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URBN Coal Fired Pizza & Bar

3085 University Avenue, North Park

As bartender Seth Laufman preps for Urbn Coal Fired Pizza’s Tuesday-evening crowds, he explains that of all the liquors behind the bar, whiskey’s the most entertaining to “play around with.” It starts with a silky-smooth Manhattan, Laufman says. “When it’s made properly, the Manhattan is one of the most balanced and simplest of cocktails, especially for those who like to drink whiskey,” he notes. “Ask any whiskey drinker what he wants in a cocktail, and he’ll usually tell the bartender something with only a few ingredients.” After starting a decade ago as a barkeep at Ohio college beer bars, Laufman moved to San Francisco. “It was in San Francisco that I found out what actual bartending was,” he says. “You have to be able to make a well-balanced drink and you have to be creative with the classics.” And Laufman got that part down, if his Manhattan is any indication. He’ll also show you versatility with his “RYE-NO-MITE.” “It’s rye whiskey, Cynar, Benedictine, a dash of bitters, and a dash of chipotle tincture,” he says. “It’s inspired by a Manhattan, but we’ve taken a little sweet to balance out the whiskey and the smokiness from the chipotle to put a little different spin on it.”

Kitchen proof: The Urbn’s Manhattan invokes the whiskey theme with the proper rye expressions. What follows is a sweet panoply of possibilities.

In a mixing glass filled with ice, pour:

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes bitters

Stir until well blended and cold, pour into a cocktail glass, garnish with a maraschino cherry.

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