The Metropolitan is…. well, frankly it’s a bit on the strong side of things. An equal combination of brandy and sweet vermouth will certainly do that to a drink I suppose, but you might have thought that the simple syrup would balance out the potent aftertaste that comes through from the brandy – in which case you would be all kinds of wrong. The Metropolitan is pure boozy heat that tickles the back of your throat, and even then ‘tickle’ is too polite a word for what it does. I don’t want to say ‘assault’ but yeah, it kind of assaults everything from your taste buds on the way down. The sweet vermouth doesn’t really get a word in edgewise either, which I think is a real shame as vermouth is one of my favourite ingredients (Let’s just say I’m a big fan of a good ol’ Cinzano and lemonade) but it could be worth trying this cocktail with a sweeter rosso vermouth instead of your typical white vermouth which is perhaps slightly drier.
If you’re a brandy connoisseur or have a top shelf brandy to use then I have no doubt that you will find more enjoyment in this drink than the average person, but otherwise I wouldn’t go for this one as a casual evening drink. Of course alcohol preferences are one of the most subjective topics; I struggled with one of these whereas my friend happily knocked back 2 in quick succession, so as always I would say don’t be afraid to try it, but remember that it’s best served for a day when you either want a stronger-than-average drink, or you want to experiment with something new
And of course there’s a cherry in the drink for good measure, so if nothing else that can be your motivation to finish it!
♦ 1 ½ ounces brandy
♦ 1 ½ ounces sweet vermouth
♦ ½ teaspoon simple syrup
♦ 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake the ingredients together and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry and serve.