Henry's not old enough to drink yet. But his dad, a friend of the guys behind Beloved in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, likes his spirits straight. So the Greenpoint bar looked to the Manhattan to toast baby Henry.
"I love Manhattan variations," says Beloved bar manager Rene Hidalgo. "It's a simple approach that has a lot of room to play around with." A little bit of boredom and a lot of home-bar tinkering led Hidalgo to this variation: rhum agricole, bourbon, vermouth and bitters.
Forget what you know about rum drinks and give The Henry a sip. It's full-moon round, rich and supple, thanks in no small part to Clement Rhum Agricole. Not to be confused with plain old rum, rhum agricole is distilled from freshly crushed sugarcane juice (no molasses) in the French West Indies.
"Clement Rhum Agricole is one of my favorite rums to drink straight, neat or on ice," swoons Hidalgo, who created the drink in part to expose more people to Martinique rums, a category of spirits he feels is overlooked in the States. "It has this caramel and burnt orange aspect, and a really gorgeous roundness to it."
Here, Kentucky bourbon becomes a gateway to Agricole. "People are comfortable with bourbon," says Hidalgo. Bulleit Bourbon's caramel-molasses notes play nicely off the rhum; the effect is warming but not hot, with a hint of smoke.
Hidalgo pulls it all together with orange and Angostura bitters and sweet, earthy Cocchi Vermouth de Torino. He cracks his ice before stirring and pours slowly, suppressing bubbles to keep things velvety soft. With a bold orange twist on top, The Henry's ready to go. If this little guy grows up as smooth, and subtly sweet as the drink named after him, the ladies better watch out.