Cannonball's Rum Manhattan breaks the surface with a balance of taste and texture

Not one, but two, variations on a classic

Cannonball's Rum Manhattan
  • Cannonball's Rum Manhattan

Cannonball

3105 Ocean Front Walk, Mission Beach

Ray Means

Ray Means

While the usual vodka- and gin-based poolside-fixtures are welcomed mixtures on the menu, Cannonball’s general manager Ray Means says Cannonball also serves up the brown liquors and offers seasonal variations on classic cocktails.

“We could have done something with bourbon, although scotch might have been a little extreme for the beach theme here,” he says. “But we wanted to do something that bridges the gap between being on the water with a subtropical climate and having a brown spirit offering.”

The aged brown rum was hiding in plain sight as the menu developed, Means said, when he decided to try a variation on a watertight classic — the Rum Manhattan.

“The Manhattan was popular among us and we wanted to do something that could substitute for the bourbon,” he says. “Some of the caramel and nutty sweetness of an aged rum we thought was a suitable substitution for some of these aged bourbons.”

After a few experiments, Means realized the sweet vermouth’s tannic dividends invoked nicely the spirit of the traditional rum-and-Coke flavors.

“The Carpano as a sweet vermouth has an herbal and medicinal quality to it,” he says, “but it also has some cola notes to it to balance it out that contributed well alongside the tropical flavors of the rum.”

In the summertime, Means says Cannonball also offers a lighter version of the same drink with the brighter Dolin Sweet Vermouth and more floral citrusy Peychaud’s Bitters replacing their more autumnal brethren. But, Peychaud’s or Angostura, the drink breaks the surface with a balance of taste and texture.

“With some pleasant medicinal qualities, the bitters pull the flavors together in the Rum Manhattan,” he says. “We wanted to stay consistent with the flavor profile of the classic Manhattan.”


  • 2 oz. eight-year-old El Dorado Rum
  • ¾ oz. Carpano Antiqua (or Dolin Rouge in summertime) Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura (or Peychaud’s in summertime) Bitters

Pour ingredients into a shaker tin two-thirds full of ice, stir slowly and steadily and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an Amarena cherry on a cocktail spike.

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