Remember The Maine

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Cocktail History

The Remember The Maine is a classic cocktail from the 1930s that can best be described as part Manhattan and part Sazerac with the addition of cherry that makes its taste entirely unique. It was first discovered by Charles H. Baker during the Cuban Revolution and included in his book The Gentleman’s Companion, and although it gained fame around the time of the book’s publication, the name of the drink actually refers to the Maine, a U.S. naval ship whose sinking sparked the Spanish American War thirty-five years earlier.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Rye: This is the base spirit. We used Heaven Hill Distillery’s Rittenhouse Rye because it has a rich and clean taste with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa, and citrus.

Sweet Vermouth: This is a fortified wine that adds sweetness. We used Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth because it’s Alex’s favorite sweet vermouth, with dark notes of herbs, figs, licorice, cinnamon, and cocoa.

Cherry Liqueur: This gives the drink its deep cherry flavor. This recipe specifically calls for Heering Cherry Liqueur. When bartenders do so, it’s because this liqueur has a very distinct taste that can’t be replicated by substitutes. You can use other cherry liqueurs if you can’t find Heering Cherry Liqueur, but just know it won’t quite be the same.

Absinthe: This is a spirit. It adds its distinct licorice aroma. We used Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte made by Great Lakes Distillery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin because it’s made locally to us.

Cherry: This is the garnish. We prefer Luxardo Maraschino cherries because they’re some of the tastiest and highest quality cherries on the market.

Tasting Notes

The Remember The Maine begins with notable absinthe aromas and leads with a punchy rye-forward taste that is rounded out with some cherry and vanilla sweetness, and it has a spicy but smooth finish with another lasting hit of anise.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: If you already enjoy the formerly mentioned cocktails and their boozy flavors like Alex does, you’ll find this one to be very pleasing. He especially loved its balance of spiciness and sweetness and thought it unseated the Manhattan in his personal rankings. Kendall, on the other hand, found the flavors to be a bit too spirit-forward for her liking but agreed with Alex’s opinion of this being at the top of the list in this family of recipes.

Alex’s Take: “This Manhattan and Sazerac one-two punch is a pretty good riff for somebody who likes the idea of a Manhattan but doesn’t love its lack of complexity. I’m not the biggest fan of Manhattans myself, but I did enjoy this quite a bit because it has some extra notes of flavor that make it unique. Like the Sazerac, the spray of absinthe gives it a boozier feeling even though it doesn’t add much actual alcohol if any at all, and the use of a bit of cherry liqueur adds some complexity for the palate.”

Kendall’s Take: “My palate is much more underdeveloped than Alex’s is, so I don’t yet enjoy the taste of Manhattans or Sazeracs. And since this is essentially one of those with cherry added, I didn’t love this one either. It was certainly more palatable than a classic Manhattan thanks for the cherry liqueur, but I still shivered from the bitters and booziness.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: The Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Rye
 ¾ oz Sweet Vermouth
  oz Heering Cherry Liqueur
 1 dash Absinthe
 1 Cherry

Method
1

Rinse cocktail glass with absinthe by adding a dash to the glass, rolling it around until it's coated, and discarding the excess.

2

Add rye, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, and ice a to a mixing glass.

3

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

4

Strain into absinthe-rinsed cocktail glass.

5

Garnish with cherry.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Rye
 ¾ oz Sweet Vermouth
  oz Heering Cherry Liqueur
 1 dash Absinthe
 1 Cherry

Directions

Method
1

Rinse cocktail glass with absinthe by adding a dash to the glass, rolling it around until it's coated, and discarding the excess.

2

Add rye, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, and ice a to a mixing glass.

3

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

4

Strain into absinthe-rinsed cocktail glass.

5

Garnish with cherry.

Remember The Maine

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More Classic Cocktails

If you like this cocktail recipe, here are a few other classics we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

 Blood & Sand: A Scotch cocktail made with cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, orange juice, and a cherry

 Boo Radley: A bourbon cocktail made with Cynar, cherry liqueur, a lemon peel, and an orange peel

 Brain Duster: A rye cocktail made with absinthe, sweet vermouth, Angostura aromatic bitters, and a lemon twist

 Brooklyn: A rye cocktail made with dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and Amer Picon

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