Kansas City: Drinks at Manifesto
If you’re visiting Kansas City for the first time, the first stop on the bar tour has to be Manifesto. Just don’t make the same mistake I did and try to get to the bar from the restaurant, The Rieger. Yes, it’s the basement bar (self-styled “speakeasy bar”) but you have to access it from an entrance via the alley.
We had arrived early. I was fresh from a three hour flight and needed a cocktail badly. The plane was overbooked and somehow I ended up nearly in the last row with a “bad flyer.” That’s what she told me. I normally wouldn’t care but when she whipped out her cell phone to record a “just in case we all die” video for her family, I knew I needed a cocktail stat.
My friend ordered the Shatto Blanc, intrigued by the milk bottle presentation. It turns out Shatto is a local dairy and the root beer milk mixed well with the J. Rieger & Co vodka. Add in the supple Yellow Chartreuse, you got yourself an adult milkshake. Milkshake gone wild! Milkshake to the maxxx! My milkshake brings all the boys to… oh, sorry, I was having too much fun with this.
Shatto Blanc – J. Rieger & Co vodka, Shatto root beer milk, Yellow Chartreuse, Angostura bitters
For my first drink, I opted for the Daughter of the old Westport. I initially didn’t realize it was a play on Westport, an area I would be spending a lot of time in later in KCMO. This cocktail featured all the things I love- a brown, bitter, stirred drink with whiskey, Amontillado sherry and hopped grapefruit bitters. It was definitely needed after that crazy person next to me on the plane. Which means it’ll take the edge off any other night just fine.
Daughter of the Old Westport – J. Rieger & Co gin, Amontillado sherry, vermouth, Aperol, Bitter Truth dry hopped grapefruit bitters
And since I was in KCMO, I had to get the modern classic Pendergast, a riff on a Manhattan invented by KC’s Godfather of Cocktails, Ryan Maybee. Imbibe has the recipe here. It’s named after a KCMO politico who got in trouble for many things including ignoring Prohibition but you can’t say he didn’t have a good time defying that particular law.
Pendergast – Buffalo Trace bourbon, Benedictine, Dolin sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters
Maybe I was pulling a Pendergast when I lit my cocktails for pics– Manifesto has a no flashlight policy. Oops! Sorry, thanks guys!