This one’s a tasty Manhattan variant that adds some cherry liqueur and a little absinthe to the mix. It’s a touch sweeter than a typical Manhattan, but you still get the spicy zing of the rye and the complexity of the vermouth showing through.
The drink is named for the famous rallying cry, “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!” that helped launch the US into the Spanish American war. The cry is a reference to the USS Maine, a battleship that was sunk in Havana Harbor, Cuba in 1898. While there was no proof that the Spanish caused the explosion that consumed the ship and rapidly plunged it to the bottom of the harbor, killing the majority of its crew, American newspapers used the tragedy to whip the public into an anti-Spanish frenzy.
Why adding cherry liqueur and an absinthe rinse to a Manhattan should be associated with this bit of history, I’m not entirely sure, especially since it seems to have been created more than thirty years later. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent drink, and well worth a try!
This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts. Liquors in parentheses are what I used when I made this recipe, and are included as suggestions.