Morimoto’s Kevin O’Rourke Thinks You Should Order a Jameson Manhattan


Sick of your usual call drink? Try something new. In this series, we’re asking the city’s bartenders to name their current drinks of choice. Check out our Good Call archives for another round.

Today’s call comes by way of Kevin O’ Rourke, beverage director of Morimoto NYC (88 Tenth Avenue; 212-989-8883).

What’s your call drink?

I like a Jameson Manhattan straight up with a twist to celebrate the end of an arduous day.

What is it about this drink that you like so much?

The triple distilled Irish whiskey is a little bit more smooth than some other whiskies and goes down nice and easy. I like that in this age of modern mixology, you can usually get a correct recipe when you order a cocktail. This drink takes just the right amount of time to drink and move on before it warms up too much. Since it goes down nice and smoothly, it usually sets the right mood for the end of a long day.

Has it always been your favorite? How long did it take you to find it? What was that process like?

I would say as time rolls on, my tastes have changed, and it has been the drink that I look forward to for the last three to four years. When I was younger, I would stick to beer, and then I went through a wine phase. It’s only the last few years that I have come to appreciate the taste of the many very well made spirits out there.

Could you name a few places around town that make your favorite drink?

I like to visit some friends at Paddy Maguires Ale House which is typically open late each night on the East Side. I know the bar staff at Employees Only make a great drink. Other great places are, of course, Buddakan and Morimoto

What’s the recipe for those that want to make it at home?

I like to start with a cocktail glass and a mixing glass that has been in the freezer for at least an hour. I place several large ice cubes in the chilled mixing glass. Two ounces of Jameson and one ounce of good sweet vermouth (try Carpano Antica or Atsby Amberthorne) with a dash of bitters (Angostura works, but I like to experiment with the many great brands of quality bitters) should be added to the mixing glass. Stir properly with a bar spoon for 30 seconds. Strain into mixing glass and garnish with the oils of a fresh cut lemon zest.

What’s your second favorite drink? Recipe?

In the cold of the winter, I may opt for the Hennessy Stinger. Two ounces of Hennessy VS and one ounce of Marie Brizzard white creme de menthe, chilled for 30 seconds in a mixing glass. I then strain into a brandy snifter and sit by my imaginary fire place warming my toes.