The Drink Of The Weekend: The Manhattan

As part of our mission here at Why Daddy Drinks to revel in the humorous lunacy that is fatherhood, and to promote the drinking of quality beverages, we bring you our weekly segment highlighting something that should be in your glass. This is The Drink Of The Weekend.

My wife and I celebrated our eighth anniversary last week. And by “celebrated”, I mean we hired a babysitter [At $15 an hour…Nice work, if you can get it] and escaped from our kids on a late Saturday afternoon for about seven hours. We don’t have a lot of family nearby to dump our daughters on watch our beautiful children from time to time, so on those rare occasions when we do get out, we like to make it count.

Old School with the Manhattan
Old School with the Manhattan

We started off going for a massage that my mom had gotten us. As I always do when I get a massage, I fell asleep out 10 minutes in, then spent the rest of the hour waking myself up with my own jackhammer-sounding snores and drooling that, I’m sure, left a few spots on the floor beneath the horseshoe headrest.

My wife enjoyed her massage, too, and we were tempted to sign up a “membership” that would cost us $110 for us to each get a massage a month. Faced with what was ahead for us the rest of the evening, and knowing how much the sitter was going to cost [never mind the monthly bill for our daughters’ school], we passed on that hour-a-month of bliss…for now.

A quick trip to the nearby TJ Maxx to fill my wife’s shopping habit followed and then we were headed back home for a few minutes. Massages are great, but they often involve getting some lotion or oil. And when you are going to dinner at a fairly nice joint for the evening, you like to freshen up a bit. So, we made a pit stop at home to shower up while our sitter made $15 an hour during the time we were also in the house.

From there, we rolled down to Oakland’s Jack London Square. Oakland has really taken to its one-time native son, although by my research, Jack didn’t really spend much time here after he initially lit out for the Yukon. Instead, he preferred to spend his Bay Area days up at the natural spas of Glen Ellen, in Sonoma County. But, like the saying goes, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”. Thus, Jack London gets a popular dining and retail spot named after him, complete with a statue that makes the late drunkard look like he’s stumbling home after last call, and his name becomes immortalized by thousands who have probably never read or even heard of “The Call Of The Wild” or “White Fang”.

The man the Square is named after...Jack London.
The man the Square is named after…Jack London.

So, it was down at Jack London Square where my wife and I had our anniversary dinner at a a pretty nice place called Scott’s. They make a great halibut, that I like, and and outstanding salmon dish, which my wife loves. It’s also special to us for a some other reasons: I took my wife there for dinner on one of our first dates, and it was during an evening there where I proposed to her. And it just so happened that on this anniversary dinner night we also had the same table from that evening when I put a ring on her finger.

Of course, with any nice dinner, there comes a reason to have a nice drink, too. My wife opted for a glass of pinot noir from Sonoma, and I…Well, I decided it was time for something new and different.

Which is why I had a Manhattan.

Yes, I went Old School this night. I don’t drink whiskey, or whiskey-based drinks very often, but there was something about this evening that said the Manhattan was the right thing to do. The warm lights of the restaurant, the music coming from the piano player in the bar, the boats in the dock outside,the look of relaxation on my wife’s face across from me. It was a rare time for two adults to be together and not have to play referee to a couple of kids brawling over some toy. And it was time to order something that signified adult-level freedom, and that was the Manhattan:

Knob Creek Rye

Sweet vermouth

Dash of bitters

Luxardo cherry

Done and done. Until the next anniversary…


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