Last Night’s Drink – Frisco


It’s that time of year again. Manhattan Season is within sight and our thoughts turn to cold nights and soothing cocktails. But for the next few weeks the Manhattan and its brethren are banned from our cocktail rotation. So what to do?

The Frisco is that perfect cocktail to transition into Manhattan Season. It’s one of the few cocktails QDP and I drink during the winter that contains juice and it’s also one of the few that I can make just before our self-imposed ban on Manhattans ends. The Frisco is still summery enough to quench the thirst but herbal enough to whet the appetite for earthier cocktails that will soon be in our glasses when fall hits full on.


2 oz rye
1/4 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz lemon juice

Shake with cracked ice, strain and garnish with lemon wheel.

I have to say that normally I do not check my drinks before I pour them. I’m not in a professional setting and do not have people paying good money for my product and all I have to worry about is QDP giving me a look. Still, it’s always a disappointment when something goes awry.

In this case, the lemons that I bought were tart and acidic to a level that was remarkable and threw the entire thing off balance. Had I dipped a straw and tasted it I probably would have added a bit of simple syrup to the drink to offset the terrible assault to the palate that these lemons were giving the drink. Normally there is a lovely balance between the spiciness of the rye and tartness of the lemon with the Benedictine giving some much needed complexity and interest at the end. Not so here. Just a total and utter failure.

Oh well, a Manhattan doesn’t call for lemon juice.