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Class Up Your Campsite With A Jug Of Manhattan Punch

So I asked a top notch bartender what kind of punch he’d make for his friends while camping…

That bartender was Elliot Manthey, and he’s a bartender at Cafe Maude in Minneapolis, MN. He said he had a lot of ideas about making cocktail for groups at the campsite so I sent him a few fun questions and got this email back from him. I don’t know about you, but Elliot’s Manhattan Punch sounds awesome to me.

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I’ll turn it over to Elliot…

I came up with a bottled Manhattan that you can mix at home, bottle, throw it in a cooler, and serve later.  We call this process batching.

My cocktail recipe is simply a proportion.  Bartenders don’t memorize hundreds of individual cocktails individually, but rather, we use ratios and proportions.  A Manhattan and a Martini use the same ratio;  So do the Old Fashioned and the Sazarac; same with the Daiquiri and the Gimlet.

The numbers in this cocktail could represent cups, liters, ounces.  Given that using ounces would yield one cocktail, and that there are 8 ounces in a cup, using these number to represent cups would make 8 cocktails.  Double it and you have 16 cocktails.  The important thing is be consistent and accurate with the ratio of each ingredient to another.  The recipe is as follows.

Bottled Manhattan

2 1/4 Rye whiskey – I like Rittenhouse if you can find it.  Bulleit Rye is nice too)

1 Sweet Vermouth – I like Carpano Antica.  Spend some money on vermouth.  Its worth it.  Keep it in the fridge after you open it and use it quickly.  I often make cocktails with $10 booze and $30 vermouth.

1 2/3 Plain Water

Add 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters for every cocktail you are batching.

Add a pinch of Kosher or sea salt to the batch.  I put salt in most of my cocktails.  It accentuates all other flavors.

Gently mix the cocktail and add it to an empty glass bottle leaving very little air.  This will keep the cocktail fresh and limit the oxidation and eventual spoilage of the vermouth that hopefully you spent a little money on.

Throw the bottle in a cooler and bury in ice.  Get it as cold as possible.  If you are at a cabin with a freezer, stick it in there for a few hours.

Serve the cocktail in whatever glassware you have.  Coupe, rocks glass, Red Solo Cup.  Add some high quality Maraschino cherries (I like Luxardo) or a twist of orange peel and bottoms up!

No need to drink the cocktail over ice, as you have already added the water content you would achieve by stirring and straining.

Experiment with other spirit driven cocktails and again, let ratios be your guide.  

3 questions for Elliot…

50CF: What’s the most beautiful camping location or hike you’ve been on?

Elliot: My favorite hike I’ve ever been on was in Zion National Park in Utah.  I’ve actually never been “camping” per se.  Most family trips growing up were to large cities.  I’m a city slicker.  However, hiking in Zion for a day with my brother and our Dad was spectacular.  I also can’t speak enough about hiking in the Columbia River Valley in Washington and Oregon.  I love the Pacific Northwest.

50CF: Name a park that you’d love to visit.

Elliot: I would love to take the Empire Builder train to Seattle which goes through Glacier National Park.  I think seeing the park from a train observation car would be cool.  I went to the Grand Canyon as a kid and I’d love to go back.  However,  I will not be riding a donkey along a narrow cliff adjacent path…

50CF: What’s your goto camping meal?

Elliot: I like brats, egg and mayo heavy potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs.  Basically well executed picnic food.  I spent 4 days at a cabin this past 4th or July and didn’t have a single hot dog or brat.  The lack of tubular meat was disappointing.  My dream camping meal would be an assortment of potted meats, terrines, stinky cheeses, crusty bread, and a few dozen oysters.

Manhattan Punch
Manhattan Punch
Elliot Manthey
Elliot Manthey

Elliot Manthey is a bartender at Cafe Maude in South Minneapolis. He is a true connoisseur and craftsman of tasty beverages. When asked about punches and cocktails at the campsite he said, “Man, I have so many ideas about this…” We anticipate many more delicious recipes from Mr. Manthey. Cheers.


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