A star in Tampa restaurant Haven's whiskey-centered cocktail program is Dean Hurst's twist on the classic Manhattan. Hurst is the director of spirits for Haven, Bern's Steakhouse and the Epicurean Hotel. His Manhattan features high-proof bourbon and two styles of vermouth, in addition to the traditional rye whiskey and Angostura bitters.
"You have Dolin, which is more of a traditional style, lighter, it's got some of the wine notes, it's a little dark," Hurst said. "But then you have the spiciness of the Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, and I really like the flavor profile of that. The cinnamon and the exotic spices you can find in this blend really well to the whiskeys."
Haven features Hurst's Manhattan ($10) as one of three kegged cocktails.
"It's prebatched and it's an even, consistent cocktail," Hurst said. "And I actually think it gets better the longer it sits in the keg."
Hurst said they use the tapped cocktail system because it allows for faster service.
"It's nice to see a bartender touch five bottles to make a cocktail. It's also nice to have the cocktail in front of you so you can enjoy it."
Monica Herndon, Times staff writer