I was in a hot yoga class recently with a very good friend, and as we listened to songs from the 60's (each class has music-which is a great diversion tactic from the heat, sweat, and stretch of yoga) I thought of our Manhattan Mondays and my childhood. The soundtrack of my life is also from that era. As a child, I grew up sitting at the end of my mother’s best friend's bar. I listened to live music, befriended bartenders and learned the art of entertaining. At the ripe old age of six, I was schooled in the lesson of how to make a good, stiff Manhattan for my parents' guests! This obviously evolved into what really matters: friendship, diplomacy and marking time with traditions.
This is how Manhattan Monday began. It has always been about friends; relaxing, making magic... gathering. Sometimes life becomes complicated and we forget to enjoy it. We become too tired - but still, gather. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Manhattan Mondays have evolved throughout my adulthood. Many of us who work weekends have Mondays off and this is OUR day. We want to gather, feel alive and connected to our friends. We basically have one day and boy, do we make it count!!! Some Mondays are wrought with stress, but still, we make the best of it. We throw frozen onion rings into the oven, set the table, light the candles and shake up the Manhattans. We talk, we unwind, and sometimes, we dance. We are together. Other Monday's the hostess for the week decides to go all out. Fancy food, event-style table decor, dessert and (of course) Manhattans!!! Either way, it is about gathering, the friendships, and the tradition.
The weeks progress into years. Occasionally, different friends join us at the table. Manhattan Monday has become something to look forward to; to gauge our week by. It is wondrous and wonderful….it is life. This is Manhattan Monday and this is LOVE!!!
1oz Makers Mark Kentucky Bourbon
1/2 oz Cocchi Vermouth
3 dashes orange or Angostura bitters
Pour over ice in a shaker. Shake
Serve in fancy glasses with a garnish of Luxardo Maraschino Cherries
Play your favorite music. Sip. Dance. Repeat.
BY TJ MONTAGUE