Booze

My Brother’s Bar

When I lived in Manhattan, my office was next to one of the city's oldest bars: P.J. Clarke's. As a relatively new legal drinker, I was fascinated by that bar's century-old history and the classic cocktails it served to well-heeled Midtown businessmen. And when I moved back to Denver and discovered My Brother's Bar, it was like finding P.J. Clarke's all over again. Although it hasn't always been My Brother's, this building has always housed a bar (the earliest record, in 1873, lists it as the Highland House) and has never had a sign — which reportedly helped keep the cops away during Prohibition. In honor of that dark time, as well as my stint in New York, I ordered a rye Manhattan ($6.75), made with Old Overholt rye whiskey, Angostura aromatic bitters and sweet vermouth. Before Prohibition, the bartender told me, rye was as popular as any of the other whiskeys distilled in the United States. But then bootleggers started smuggling in sweeter, corn-based whiskey from Canada, soldiers returning from World War II developed an appreciation for Scotch, and the peppery, biting rye never regained its earlier popularity. Still, it's a taste worth toasting. So head over to My Brother's Bar, order a rye Manhattan and support a few of America's finest traditions.

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Nancy Levine
Contact: Nancy Levine