While it celebrates its fifth anniversary this week, Manifesto (1924 Main Street) wants you to get into the spirit: all of them actually. Manifesto’s Ryan Maybee is set to unveil the speakeasy’s new cocktail menu tonight, which for the first time, has a complete listing of the spirits behind the basement bar that sits underneath The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange.
“People have come to think of us as a great cocktail bar, but I have always wanted to be a great bar,” Maybee says. “We have amassed a huge spirits selection over the years and now I want to showcase what we have.”
The cocktail list has been paired down and separated into the Manifesto classics — the drinks that been made since the speakeasy opened — and seasonal cocktails. [You can download a PDF of the full cocktail menu here].
As he has done since his days behind the bar at Pierpont’s, Maybee continues to draw inspiration from vintage drink recipes. The Rubio is a take on a Sherry Cobbler with three different kinds of sherry, seasonal fruit (pineapple now that will shift to strawberries or raspberries as the weather warms) and one very potent balsamic vinegar: Noble Tonic #5.
“[Chef] Howard [Hanna] has been using it in the [Rieger] kitchen on dessert. It’s balsamic aged in sherry casks and bourbon barrels. It’s mind-blowingly powerful. Just three or four drops of that sweet heavy richness makes the drink pop,” Maybee says.
He also hopes patrons notice a change in the glassware. He’ll be rotating in “some, funky old crystal,” and the Braided Rope, a tropical rum cocktail, will arrive in a Tiki Mug. The most likely to start a conversation will be the One-Two Punch, a milk punch made with Aylesbury Duck vodka, Cana Brava rum, Licor 43 and St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram. It’s served in a Shatto glass bottle.
The second half of the cocktail list is spirits by the pour. The whiskey (which had been listed on the back of Manifesto’s menu for the past year-and-a-half) and bourbon are available neat or on a rock, the gin comes with tonic or in a martini and the mezcal comes with copita service (in clay cups with smoked salt and orange slices). The spirits are broken out by category with a single cocktail underneath each grouping — The Pendergast, for example, takes Buffalo Trace bourbon and pairs it with Dolin sweet vermouth and Benedictine Angostura bitters.
“It’s just one more cocktail that is the best, pure representation of that spirit,” Maybee says. “They are spirit forward and really simple.”
Call or text 816.536.1325 to make a reservation.[Image via Facebook: Manifesto]