Tag Archives: Daniel Handler

The Jewish Manhattan from Daniel Handler

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson


2 oz Rye
0.25 oz Manischewitz Concord Grape Red Wine
Angostura Bitters


Instructions per Mr. Handler:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
Pour in the rye and the Manischewitz, and add one dash of Angostura bitters for each living female relative over the age of seventy in your extended family.
Shake, then pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry you’ve plucked from a fruitcake someone gave you.
Sip frugally while arguing over something that does not matter in this world or the next, and allow the ice to melt in the shaker.
When it has melted completely, pour it into your cocktail glass and convince yourself that you are drinking a second cocktail for free.

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The Makeshift

a Daniel Handler Original

1.5 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
1 Dash Orange Bitters
Splash of Kübler Absinthe

Chill a rocks glass with ice. Discard the ice and then rinse the glass with Absinthe, coating the entire inside.  Discard the Absinthe.  Set aside.
Add rye and both bitters to a mixing glass.
Shake with ice and pour (ice and all) into the rocks glass.
A twist of lemon might be nice.

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12 Rounds With… Daniel Handler

There’s a moment in Daniel Handler’s introduction to Bernard DeVoto’s “The Hour” where Handler offers his infant son his first tiny taste of a cocktail.  I too have done this – dipped my pinkie into a glass and held it forth for my insistent youngster, his small mouth cupping the scant drop of liquid.  In both Handler’s case and in my own, the child’s reaction was the same – a single word mustered up from a tiny vocabulary: “More.”

It’s at that moment that I felt a kinship with Mr. Handler.  The psychologists may call it transference or projection, but I knew then that Daniel and I were both playing our parts as middlemen in a greater cocktail saga.  We had learned from and been inspired by our fathers, and now, we were seeking to instill the same level of admiration – for us and for drink – in our sons.

With a resume too encompassing to do it justice here – master of the accordion, member of bands including The Magnetic Fields and Danny & the Kid, author of “The Basic Eight”, “Adverbs” and numerous other titles – on these pages, Mr. Handler will simply be the man who wrote the introduction to “The Hour”, and that, in and of itself, is enough.  If our places are but to preserve, polish, and pass the baton to the next generation, the oral history of the cocktail has a true Homer in Daniel Handler.

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From the 12BB Library: “The Hour” by Bernard DeVoto

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson

Bernard DeVoto once described himself as “a literary department store.”  He was indeed a cornucopia of talents, equal parts historian and author, commentator and conservationist.  During his life, he was the recognized authority on all things Mark Twain, acting as curator and editor of the author’s papers.  His history of the west, “Across the Wide Mississippi”, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1947.  From 1935 until his death twenty years later, he wrote “The Easy Chair”, a column for Harper’s Magazine. Yet, these credits merely skim the surface; in his day, DeVoto spoke and people listened. Read More…