As an apple brandy addict I am always looking for a way to use apple brandy or calvados. I also like whiskey and just about anything you might set in front of me but I like to emphasize drinking well and few classic cocktails emphasize drinking well like a Manhattan. A well made Manhattan is complex and well-balanced. Rye whisky, Carpano Antica vermouth and Angostura bitters round out my recipe in a two to one and dash dash dash ratio. I have found reference to a applejack Manhattan and the more I read it seems old-time bartenders mixed vermouth with almost everything. This is a great way to use up a bottle before it goes bad and I try to do the same thing. It just so happens that I have a large bottle of Carpano Antica sweet vermouth and am trying to use as much as possible before it goes bad. I made a Manhattan with Calvados, Carpano Antica and Orange bitters to round out the spicy fruit. To me it tasted like a holiday bomb. A garnish with an orange twist would round out the aromatics nicely with a mist of orange oil.
This is not a new idea but it was a great drink. I propose as a brandy Manhattan is called a metropolitan we call an apple brandy Manhattan a BIG APPLE.