Stirred and Shaken

Who is T.K. Bitterman? The answer is, there is no such person. Regardless, there is a T.K. Bitterman's (2010 West Alabama, 713-529-8979), a Montrose-area watering hole that has been serving them up for some 16 years. It's a bar where Houston's tiny film community imbibes. Odd, really. The establishment, with its Chicago Cubs-intensive decor, is so non-Hollywood. But that, perhaps, is its charm. Owner and operator Ken Marshall has a favorite cocktail. It requires rye whiskey, a liquor not much consumed at the Cannes Film Festival. He uses it to make his Perfect Manhattan. It is a beauty of a drink, guaranteed to put your camera out of focus.

T.K. Bitterman's Perfect Manhattan: The first sip is dry. Then the other ingredients kick in, and it becomes rather lush, if I may use the term. This is a whiskey cocktail the way our parents drank them.

Three shots Jim Beam rye whiskey
Splash of Martini and Rossi sweet red vermouth
Splash of Martini and Rossi dry white vermouth
Maraschino cherry

Shake ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sweetly nasty maraschino cherry and serve. Repeat until you have a really good concept for a feature film.

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George Alexander