I am beginning to realize that everyone has their winter rituals, more so their snow removal rituals.

I have been told by many a guy that before they go to shovel their driveway they will put beer in the snow to get it cold, and that it is the ‘perfect’ temperature by the time they have finished, so they can open it when they are done, almost as if it is their reward for shoveling.

A neighbor of mine told me, that for him, it was scotch. Single malt, blended, no particular preference. It is with him, that I learned more of the nuances of scotch. Of course, he insisted that the only way I could learn about scotch was to shovel… So, I too was out there helping (say 10% of the driveway to his 90%). He said that while he would shovel, he would think about how it would taste, how it would smell. The sound of just one ice cube clinking in the glass, how it would welcome him in from the cold.

As I have moved, and started shoveling my own driveway, I have met my new neighbors, one of which who has told me that to him, it’s all about his Budweiser that is what he looks forward to…

bhunter

For me… I think my tradition, just might involve Bourbon. With the snow storm this week, all I could think about while I was shoveling was Manhattans… The way the bourbon tastes when it has an elusive touch of sweet vermouth. How it appears in a glass after the two have been combined in a shaker with ice.  How that first sweet sip tastes after shoveling a driveway… Ahhhh… yes… This could be it….

Possibly, I will take the scotch and make it a Rob Roy… Or use Irish whiskey and make an Emerald? As much as I do not look forward to snow… Somehow, shoveling doesn’t seem so bad now…

My version of a Manhattan? 1 1/2 oz "good bourbon" this could be Makers Mark, Woodfoord, Blanton's, or whatever you have on your shelf at home, mix with one capful of sweet red vermouth, I prefer Doulin, but its hard to find and usually use the Tribuno.
Shake these two things with a couple of ice cubes, vigorously in a shaker, then pour into a rocks glass, take off those snow covered boots and relax on the couch...