The bar staff at the Sagamore Resort seem to have their stuff together. I was there for a business function and I had a chance to visit Mr. Brown's Pub. My server was Betty. The bar was extremely busy all the stools were filled. The drinks being ordered was mostly liquor and soda, vodka martinis, and beer. I have a seat and order up a Maker's Mark Manhattan up, stirred.
"No problem," said Betty who went straight to work mixing up a great Manhattan. She did forget the bitters but when I reminded her she had no problem throwing it in.
I love sitting at a bar and watching a busy bartender. You can tell when the barkeep is in the zone and she was in the zone tonight. Stopping every now and then to take a breath and look for the next empty glass to fill. It was great.
I had two Manhattans and dinner at the bar.
Afterwards my company was hosting a casino night in the ball room. You've been to one of these things. Everyone is given a bag of chips and a few tickets for free drinks and off they go. There was blackjack, poker, and craps. As an employee I wasn't able to play, just watch. I could tell everyone was having a great time and the dealers were practically letting the customers win. Why not, its not real money.
That is when I notice that someone at the table is getting low on their drink. So, I play the part of the waiter and ask, "can I get anyone a drink?" To my surprise one of the customers said, "yeah, let me have a Crown Manhattan."
Crown in a Manhattan... yikes! But, seeing we are only a few miles form Canada and Crown Royal is a Canadian whiskey, I'll forgive him. However, the man's wife said, "yeah me too except make it a Southern Comfort Manhattan." Oh my goodness! I've heard of bastardizing a drink but this is crazy!
So, I take my drink orders over to the bartender, who is standing beside a table full of bottles. I tell the guy, "okay, I would like a Crown Manhattan and - - I pause - - a Comfort and sweet vermouth." I couldn't bring myself to calling it a Manhattan. The bartender looked up and smiled knowingly at me. "Some people want the weirdest things", he says. I also order a Black Russian for myself. He made the three drinks without hesitation and got all the ingredients perfect.
So long story, short, I would recommend the bar staff at the Sagamore resort in upstate New York.
Thanks Joe and Betty!